When mergers and acquisitions occur there is often a lot of heartache, sometimes even long established brands fall by the wayside after the new owners “take the keys”, heaven knows we’ve seen that a lot in the car industry over the years!
There were some concerns then about the future of Mitsubishi Motors when Renault – Nissan took a controlling stake in the Japanese brand in 2016.
Mitsubishi at the time was struggling, especially in markets such as the U.S., while in Australia there didn’t look to be a whole to get excited about either, and sales were flat to say the least.
An ageing range of vehicles and other factors such as the continued booming success for the Korean brands had more than a few people wondering if Mitsubishi was heading for the scrapheap.
But, to their credit, and that of Renault – Nissan, the brand is back and well and truly heading in the right direction.
The Pajero Sport is continuing to bring in big sales numbers, the new Eclipse Cross is here and looks set to take the fight up to compact crossover rivals, and the sharing of resources with its sister-brands are helping the bottom-line.
In 2017 Mitsubishi Motors delivered 80,654 new vehicles to Australian customers, 9.9% up on the 2016 total.
Interestingly, despite being the “little sister” in the alliance, Mitsubishi romped home against Nissan (56,594) and Renault (10,812) in the Aussie market last year.
On the global stage, sales data just released shows Mitsubishi Motors sold 1,030,000 vehicles in the calendar year, up from 934,000 in 2016.
The final quarter of 2017 was particularly strong with retail volumes of 279,000, a 18% improvement from the 237,000 sold in the same period in the previous year.
It was China where much of the growth occurred – sales in that important market increased by 56% to 129,000.
What does the future hold for Mitsubishi? Well, there’s a new co-developed (with Nissan) ute on the horizon, and the ageing Lancer looks set to be put out to pasture.
Good luck to them! Australian car, SUV and 4×4 buyers have been enthusiastic about Mitsubishi for nearly 40 years and it looks like the diamond brand still has a lot of life left in it.
We’ll keep you updated with further details and bring you the latest Mitsubishi reviews too.