A formidable challenger
Forty years and 4.7 million units sold later, this vehicle now called the Strada—Triton or L200 in other markets—has become one of the Japanese automaker’s most successful products.
“The technology and style of the (Strada) has evolved over the years, but the passion for engineering remains constant. (Stradas) are tough enough to be trusted by owners for work and play, by emergency services, major corporations, and governments. They are also loved as a family car, or as a means for smaller businesses to ply their trade,” said Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko as he unveiled the New Strada to international motoring media in Bangkok, Thailand.
The New Strada now sports a bolder look, as well as enhanced interior amenities and improved ride qualities.
Masuko explains that the upcoming model now falls closer in line with the rest of the range, including the Xpander that recently became available in the Philippines.
This is underlined best by the “dynamic shield” chrome grill and “tusks,” the latter bisecting the front bumper under each headlight.
Bulked-up wheel arches add to the look, though if you peer beyond the changes, you’ll find that the Triton utilizes many of the hard points and lines of the outgoing model.
Dynamic shield design
Mitsubishi Global Pickup Project Promotion Office Corporate GM Koichi Namiki explained: “Our dynamic shield design concept has dramatically evolved. Broad, vertical chrome grille bars reinforce the look of rock solidity. It looks like the grille has been carved and polished from a solid metal block. The higher positioning of the head and fog lamps create a bolder, massive look.”
On the side, Namiki added that the front-to-back character line expresses the leisurely expanse of space, and underlines the thickness of the overall body.
“The curved surfaces add a sensual accent to the body. The fender flares look like a giant cutter sliced through the muscular curves. This contrast of sensual curves and clean flatness expresses Triton’s engineered toughness and the cutting-edge styling.”
He shared that the New Strada’s signature rear light design that separates tail and brake lamps gives the pickup truck its unique visual identity and better lamp visibility.
“The tail lamp layout almost reaches the top of the tailgate and wraps around the sides for a wider, deeper and more stable look,” Namiki said.
He explained that the new Strada’s design should evolve as today’s drivers now expect features that were previously exclusive to passenger cars.
“Such direction is now becoming more popular even among business users who are sometimes in the vehicle most of the day,” he said
Crucial to business
Masuko shares that the Strada brand is crucial to Mitsubishi business, and will continue to be in the future.
“2018 is an extremely important year for Mitsubishi Motors. We are halfway through our Drive for Growth mid-term business plan covering 2017 to 2019.
“Announcing the new (Strada) in such an important year as this has major significance in terms of achieving our mid-term targets,” he said.
Masuko explains that the Strada is one of the company’s five core models, and accounts for 15 percent of its sales.
“The success of the new (Strada) is vital in our efforts to build a foundation for sustainable growth. So we can’t underestimate the importance of the (Strada) to our business globally, here in Thailand, and to the Thai economy itself.”
The Strada is being exported to 150 countries worldwide, with Mitsubishi Motor’s Laem Chabang plant in Thailand serving as the hub, producing 160,000 units per year.
This makes the Strada, the company’s second largest selling product, next only to the Lancer sedan.
Masuko explains that in order to exceed customers’ expectations, Mitsubishi Motors always makes sure that the upcoming model—the New Strada included—surpasses the previous one.
The New Strada has been crafted based on Mitsubishi Motors’ 40 years of heritage and engineering expertise.