Value, safety and warranty is helping the three-diamond brand to win back Aussie buyers
MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited says the decision to move into the more premium side of the volume segment has resulted in increased sales – and profits – for the Japanese brand.
Speaking to media gathered for the launch of the all-new Outlander PHEV in Adelaide this week, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) CEO Shaun Westcott said the outlook for the marque is promising, and that several models within the range are now selling in record volumes Down Under.
“We are really excited about the future of Mitsubishi and about the direction of Mitsubishi, and how we are performing in Australia,” said Mr Westcott.
“Our year-to-date sales are up 11.5 per cent, despite the overall market being down 5.2 per cent year to date. Our market share is 7.8 per cent, which is up 1.2 per cent and we currently rank third in Australia.
“Triton is performing extremely well, up 28 per cent year on year with a 13 pick-up sales segment – and an all-time sales record in March of this year.”
“We’ve again had very strong performance from Pajero Sport, especially from two-wheel drive and GSR variants we recently added to the range, which has also resulted in a very significant lift to 26 per cent year on year and a ranking of fourth in the Large SUV segment.
“The all-new Outlander is up around 43 or 46 per cent year on year over the previous model, again, a car that has resonated well with the market and a very strong signal of the intention of Mitsubishi to become more premium within the volume segment.”
Mr Westcott says the Outlander SUV range, and its newly-launched plug-in hybrid siblings, is a clear indicator of the brand’s future direction, the styling, build quality, equipment levels, driveline and connectivity technology and top-shelf safety systems of the model a showcase of what’s to come from the brand – including a potential uptick in price.
“Looking ahead… we are the designated lead brand for ASEAN and Oceania regions and, playing to our strengths, we are the PHEV and four-by-four technology specialists within the Alliance, and we will continue to play to the strengths of our brand,” he added.
“As I mentioned earlier, we are on a journey to reposition ourselves as a more premium brand. We are no longer cheap and cheerful, in fact, we don’t compete in any one of the cheap segments.
“We are looking at moving the brand more upmarket within the volume segment, and that will be seen not only in the price of our product, but also in our customer strategy, the customer experience and the way we market our product.”
Echoing his own sentiment, Mr Westcott reiterated that MMAL has already taken steps to distance itself from its “cheap and cheerful” past by discontinuing the zero-star ANCAP rated Express light commercial van and micro segment Mirage.
“The Express is expected to run out by October and Mirage stock is already exhausted,” he stated.
Mitsubishi will has launched its Outlander PHEV range this month and will look to offer range-topping variants of its Triton and Pajero Sport range – including a Nissan Navara PRO-4X Warrior rival – towards the end of the year.
Mitsubishi YTD sales to August 2022*:
Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.