Is Mitsubishi realigning model names for all markets?

There is no doubt that the Mitsubishi Montero Sport is one of the most popular models in the Philippine market.

Despite issues about incidents regarding unintended acceleration and the arrival of many newer competitors, the Montero Sport is still a solid model among consumers. At one point, it was in the top 10, and at another point it time it even surpassed another strong rival as the best selling pick-up passenger vehicle.

There has always been one thing that we found odd, and it’s not about the Montero Sport in particular: it’s Mitsubishi’s naming conventions.

For decades, Mitsubishi has been naming models differently depending on country or region. For instance, the Philippines used L200 or Strada, but never Triton like in Thailand. We also called the Outlander Sport as the ASX. They also had Chariot in Japan but launched it as Space Wagon in the Philippines. And then there’s the oddity of the Pajero name, which is known as Montero in some regions or Shogun in others.

Mitsubishi has been trying to correct that, and has been gradually renaming or preventing any odd-one-out names for certain markets. We saw it first with the Xpander, as there were proposals to call it Adventure Sport in the Philippine market to harken to the then defunct Adventure AUV, albeit in a smaller and sportier front-wheel drive platform. Now we will see it again with the renaming of the Strada line as the Triton to realign with other markets.

So that begs the question: Will they rename the Montero Sport as the Pajero Sport?

In Japan, the flagship SUV (albeit now discontinued) is the Pajero. But that name won’t be used in Spanish speaking countries in in the Americas because pajero is slang for, uh, well you can Google that. Now that we mention it, isn’t it strange that the Philippines is a former Spanish colony with a lot of Spanish-derived words, but still used Pajero?

Anyways, that could be the case for the next generation Montero Sport, or more likely Pajero Sport, for the Philippines. But what’s a name if the vehicle isn't any good? By all indications from the Triton, however, Mitsubishi has a good platform on their hands. And seeing it in action as a three-row SUV will be interesting. 

We’ll have to wait and see when Mitsubishi does hold the world premiere of the 7-seater derivative of the Triton, but we’ll wager that they will opt to drop the Montero Sport name altogether.