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Mitsubishi looks to 2013

Posted on: February 5, 2013 by Platinum Direct

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Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd (MMAL) says it intends to achieve a 15 percent sales increase in this year. The gain it says will come from new cars and improvements to existing models. The company has a wide-ranging strategy that includes keeping buyers interested in existing models which still have a year or two to run.

But with MMAL’s limited resources and product lines after a difficult five years of global economic recession, the company admits to having to choose its markets carefully after switching from local manufacturing to being a full-line importer in 2008.

MMAL expects to top 70,000 sales this year after selling just 58,868 vehicles last year, a 3.7 per cent drop from 2011.

The company believes its re-entry into the prospering light-car segment which is Australia’s second-largest in last years figures, with the all-new Mirage will be the main growth driver.

As regards other leading models, the strong response to the third- generation Outlander launched in December, which helped boost the compact SUV’s sales by 5.9 percent overall last year, is expected to be maintained in 2013. This will be helped by the introduction of the long-awaited PHEV version which is expected to be Australia’s first plug–in hybrid SUV.

Another crossover, the popular ASX which was up 8.2 percent last year, will benefit from the introduction of an automatic transmission with the diesel engine.

MMAL’s market strategy manager, Tony Principe, insists the success of Outlander and ASX demonstrates that Mitsubishi has grown with the SUV market over the past five years. But he says his company has not had an effective answer to the likes of the Toyota Yaris in the light-car segment since the demise of the Mirage nine years ago.

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