The head of Mitsubishi has hinted the Pajero could eventually be replaced by a soft-roader, suggesting the Japanese firm doesn’t “see a great opportunity” to continue with a body-on-frame set-up.

Ashwani Gupta, Mitsubishi’s global chief operating officer, told CarAdvice the current Pajero would continue to be offered in certain markets, confirming earlier reports.

“Is there an end date? Yes, but it depends on the market,” he said, according to the Australian publication, adding the Pajero was “very niche” in global terms.

“We don’t see a great opportunity as compared to the other opportunities we have,” Gupta revealed.

When asked about the chances that a replacement for the Pajero could push on with a heavy-duty ladder-frame chassis, Gupta said: “It’s too early to say”.

“First of all, you have to see the new Mitsubishi SUV on our C and D platform. You will see," he said.

Mitsubishi is, of course, developing a new SUV platform with Nissan under the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. And CarAdvice speculates this new architecture could underpin a seven-seater soft-roader (perhaps sharing parts with the next Nissan Pathfinder) that will eventually replace the Pajero.

“On the C and D platform, we can have a C segment SUV, we can have a D segment SUV and we can have any other SUV,” Gupta added.

In April 2019, Mitsubishi announced the Pajero nameplate would be discontinued in Japan, launching a “Final Edition” model to see off the 37-year-old badge. In August, the automaker followed suit in Europe and the United Kingdom.

But the fourth-generation model has soldiered on in a handful of markets, including South Africa. Here, the Pajero range currently comprises a three-door GLS derivative and a five-door GLS Exceed variant, priced at R699 995 and R799 995 respectively.