Does Eagle Summit Still Make Cars?

Eagle Summit Still Make Cars

The Eagle Summit was a budget-friendly car produced by the Eagle division of Chrysler Corporation and enjoyed a fair share of popularity during its time. Unfortunately, the production of Eagle cars, including the Summit, has ceased and they are no longer available in the market. The Eagle brand, which was formed in 1988, had a relatively short lifespan of only 10 years before being discontinued. Despite its short run, the brand had a loyal fan base and many people still remember the Summit as a reliable and economical vehicle option.

A Brief History of Eagle Cars

The Eagle brand was Chrysler’s attempt to enter the growing import car market in the late 1980s. Chrysler had seen the success of Japanese automakers in the US market with fuel-efficient, affordable compact cars. They wanted a piece of that lucrative market segment.

So in 1988, the first Eagle cars were launched. The inaugural models included the Eagle Premier and the Eagle Medallion. The Premier was a full-size sedan co-developed with Renault, while the Medallion was a rebadged version of the Mitsubishi Galant.

In 1991, the Eagle Summit was introduced. It was a rebranded version of the Mitsubishi Mirage subcompact car. Offered as a 3-door hatchback and 4-door sedan, the Summit was affordably priced and fuel-efficient. This made it popular with younger buyers and budget-conscious consumers.

The Summit was joined by the Eagle Vision in 1992, a midsize sedan aimed at taking on popular Japanese models like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Talon sports coupe arrived in 1989. By the mid-1990s, the Eagle lineup encompassed a range of cars covering most vehicle segments.

The Appeal of the Eagle Summit

One of the Eagle Summit’s biggest selling points was its low starting price. In the early 1990s, you could get a base model Summit for around $9,000 brand new. This made it significantly cheaper than competitors like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

The Summit delivered good fuel economy, averaging around 35 mpg on the highway. This was appealing in an era of rising gas prices. Its small dimensions also made it maneuverable for driving and parking in cities.

Although it was bare-bones basic, the Summit offered a reasonably comfortable ride quality and decent handling capabilities. Its light weight gave it a peppy performance for such an affordable car. There was also ample room inside the hatchback and sedan models to carry passengers and cargo.

Reliability was hit-and-miss in the early years but improved over time. Being a Mitsubishi design meant that mechanical car parts were usually affordable to replace if needed. For price-conscious young drivers, the Summit was an appealing starter car.

The Decline of Eagle Sales in the 1990s

The Decline of Eagle Sales in the 1990s

Despite some initial success, Eagle struggled to build its brand identity throughout the 1990s. Neither the vehicles nor the brand ever seemed unique or distinct enough to properly compete with established Japanese rivals.

Sales steadily declined through the decade as competing automakers upped their game. By the mid-1990s, popular new designs like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Mazda Protege overshadowed the aging Eagle Summit. Domestic brands were also ramping up their compact car offerings in attempts to win back market share.

There were some unsuccessful efforts to refresh the Eagle lineup, like giving the Summit a light facelift in 1995. However outdated technology and mediocre performance made the cars increasingly unappealing to consumers. The Eagle Vision sedan saw modest sales but was soon eclipsed by Chrysler’s own redesigned LH sedans.

Dealers were losing interest in selling the stagnant Eagle brand, especially with more profitable trucks and SUVs gaining popularity. By 1998, Chrysler decided to axe the struggling Eagle division entirely. The last Eagle cars and SUVs were made in that model year before the brand was retired.

What Happened to the Eagle Summit?

The Eagle Summit had a good run from 1991 to 1996. But sales dropped off sharply in its final few model years as other more advanced subcompacts overtook it in popularity.

In 1998, the last Summits were produced shortly before the demise of the overall Eagle brand. About 1.9 million Eagle cars were sold in total over the brand’s 10-year run.

For a time after Eagle’s discontinuation, the Mitsubishi Mirage carried on with new generations overseas. But eventually, it was discontinued globally in the early 2000s. The Mirage name was later revived in 2012 but the vehicle was fully redesigned and built in Thailand.

So in summary, the Eagle Summit and all other Eagle models are no longer manufactured today. The Eagle brand was dissolved by parent company Chrysler over 20 years ago after failing to compete with Japanese automakers. The Summit has gone down in history as an affordable, entry-level Eagle car with a short-lived presence in the 1990s compact car market.

In Summary

The Eagle Summit was an inexpensive, fuel-efficient subcompact car sold by Chrysler’s Eagle division in the early 1990s. It was manufactured in partnership with Mitsubishi and based on their Mirage model. The Summit found appeal among younger buyers and budget-minded consumers.

However, the Eagle brand as a whole struggled to compete with dominant Japanese automakers like Honda and Toyota. As the Summit aged without significant updates, its sales declined sharply. When Chrysler discontinued the unprofitable Eagle brand in 1998 after a decade of lagging sales, the Eagle Summit faded into automotive history.

While it played a minor role in the US car market for a short time, the Eagle Summit has not been manufactured now for over 20 years. Those looking to purchase an Eagle today would have to seek out a used model, of which few remain on the road. The Eagle Summit serves as an example of Chrysler’s failed attempt to crack the small car market during an era of Japanese dominance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Who made the Eagle Summit?

The Eagle Summit was manufactured by the Eagle division of Chrysler Corporation. It was a rebadged version of the Mitsubishi Mirage, which was made in partnership with Mitsubishi Motors. Chrysler aimed to sell the Japanese-designed Mirage under the Eagle brand in North America.

Q2: Where was the Eagle Summit built?

Eagle Summit models sold in North America were built at Mitsubishi’s manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. This was a joint venture plant operated by Mitsubishi and Chrysler called Diamond-Star Motors (DSM). Some Summit models were also imported from Mitsubishi facilities in Japan.

Q3: How long was the Eagle brand around?

Eagle cars were sold from the 1988 model year through the 1998 model year, so about 10 years total. The Eagle brand was launched by Chrysler Corporation in an attempt to compete with popular Japanese import cars. Lackluster sales led Chrysler to discontinue the Eagle brand in 1998.

Q4: What other models were in the Eagle lineup?

The inaugural Eagle models were the Premier sedan and Medallion sedan in 1988. Other models introduced over the years included the Vision sedan, Talon sports coupe, Vista wagon, and Summit hatchback/sedan. The Eagle brand also briefly sold rebadged Mitsubishi SUVs like the Eagle Summit Wagon.

Q5: Could you get the Eagle Summit with AWD?

The Eagle Summit was only offered with front-wheel drive. However, its Mitsubishi twin called the Mirage was available with optional all-wheel drive (AWD) in some markets outside North America. But Eagle did not elect to import or sell an AWD version of the Summit in the US or Canada.

George Ogutu

George Ogutu is a budding Auto-Tech Writer, Blogger, and Editor with a knack for green tech, which is why electric vehicles make him tick.

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