The fourth-generation Mitsubishi Pajero has been around since 2006, but a new report out of Australia suggests the nameplate’s future is not exactly secure.

According to CarAdvice, the Japanese automaker has yet to even start development of a replacement for the Pajero, despite the current generation having debuted almost 13 years ago.

Mitsubishi’s focus, of course, shifted in October 2016 when Nissan completed its acquisition of a 34 percent equity stake in the firm to became its largest shareholder and draw it into a global alliance also featuring Renault.

“The passion still exists,” Trevor Mann, Mitsubishi’s chief operating officer, told CarAdvice.

“We've not solidified our position as yet, but it’s something that our hearts really want to do, and our engineers want to do. We’ve got to make sure we have the right business case,” he added.

The Australian publication asked whether the brand’s plug-in hybrid technology could perhaps drive the development of a next-generation Pajero.

“That segment is shrinking because of emissions regulations mainly, so we need to make sure that when we do something we do it profitably. Can hybrid help us do that? In theory, yes.

“But do we have a full business case that will allow us to spend our R&D money to take the next step? Not quite. We have the ingredients but we haven’t put them together – and in the oven – yet,” he explained.

Looking at things from a different angle, there’s certainly a chance the Pajero name could live on in future by sharing its underpinnings with a Nissan…

Original article from Car