In an interview with Australia's Motoring this past week, COO Trevor Mann stated that resurrecting the Evo name is part of a long-term strategy, and that the brand is still deciding on whether to base its next performance model on a sedan or crossover type vehicle.
Speaking to caradvice.com.au at the same event, Mann also remarked that the market for large SUVs is "dying", and that a replacement for the Pajero, which has received only small updates since debuting in 2006, has not been announced.
"I think it’s probably fifty-fifty. It’s in the balance. The current Pajero will continue – we haven’t announced an end of production for the current model," Mann said.
"That segment, generally, globally, is dying. Obviously it’s being killed by emissions. If you look where the critical mass of those volumes have been, they’ve been in the US and the Middle East. It’s becoming quite prohibitive".
At the same time, Mann also said that sales of traditional three-box sedans have gone a similar route in recent years, casting doubt about a replacement for the current generation Lancer, which has remained fundamentally unchanged since bowing in 2007.
"Hatchback in some areas is having a resurgence, but sedans seem to be dying off, in the US. China is also going more towards SUVs. It tends to be the Africas, Indias, Latin Americas that are still strong in sedan vehicles,” Mann said, before pointing out they should not be looked over completely just yet.
"If you look at the US and China, it’s still a significant part of their industry. There are still relatively large volumes,” he said.
A heavily revised model, known as the Grand Lancer, has since been unveiled, but restricted to the Chinese and Taiwanese market due to the popularity of the Lancer nameplate.