Mitsubishi Raider Gets The Axe

January 12, 2009
2007 Mitsubishi Raider LS

2007 Mitsubishi Raider LS

Few will be crying when the last Mitsubishi Raider pickup rolls of the line sometime in 2010. A half-hearted beast from the very start, slow sales of she snout-nosed, restyled Dodge Dakota "mid-size" pickup first killed its only decent engine, an optional Chrysler V-8, in 2008. Next to go was optional four-wheel drive, struck from the options sheet in 2009.

All that remains is an emasculated, steel-wheeled beast on a full frame motivated lackadaisically by the 3.7-liter V-6 that Mopar truck guys despise for replacing the stalwart 4.0-liter Jeep inline six. Surely Mitsubishi, who once proudly sold rugged Monteros and MightyMaxx pickups to its off-road faithful, can do better for the U.S. market than a weak-kneed re-badge. When Mitsubishi's manufacturing contract with Chrysler expires in mid-2010, the Raider will quietly go away, and likely few will notice.

In 2008, a year that pretty much kicked pickup and SUV sales in the teeth, the Mitsubishi Raider had the unfortunate honor of a nastier sales drop than any other pickup. Just 2,935 Raiders left dealerships in '08 according to Mitsubishi; that number marks a 64.5 percent decline from Raider sales in '07.--Colin Mathews

[source: PickupTrucks.com]

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