Mitsubishi’s Plans Include More of Everything; Dealers, Marketing and Awareness
Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) has a few prosperous years under its belt. On its sixth consecutive year of sales growth, and they ended 2018 at just over 118,000 cars. It was kind enough to put Mitsubishi ahead of Volvo and Lincoln, but overall it’s pretty small when it comes to the sales of Lincoln, Acura, and Cadillac.
Being one of the industry’s most flexible brands, Mitsubishi is hoping to keep riding the momentum wave as it has developed during the last couple of years with the launch of the redesigned 2020 Outlander. However, MMNA president and CEO Fred Diaz said at a presentation in Ann Arbor Michigan, that he is optimistic about increasing those sales. “We feel that we can effectively double our sales from where they are right now,” he said.
Diaz hopes to double- or at least come reasonably close to increasing- last years figures over three to four years. One of the ways is by adding more dealers. Mitsubishi has 367 dealers nationwide, and they added 45 more in the past year; which only covers about 61% of the US market, but he wants to expand it to cover closer to 90% of the country.
Diaz has said the MMNA’s strategy is to repair the company’s relations with dealers, which was broken during the years that lead up to and during the Great Recession. Many have believed that the company would be forced to pull out of the U.S., which hasn’t been easy but it remains a priority. The solution could be as simple getting more dealers and more important metro markets, anywhere from 475 and 500 is an ideal number.
Another way to boost sales is to get people to think about the Mitsubishi brand or to even stop in at a showroom. Diaz believes that when it comes to car shoppers, they aren’t even on consumers radar. They need to increase awareness with the small marketing budget that they have.
With a small budget, it was hard for Mitsubishi to compete with the ad buys of Ford, Nissan, and Toyota. Buying a TV ad was practically of little or no effort when other dealerships were going big on promotion. So Diaz is taking a different approach in the digital marketing department, under the direction of new Chief Marketing Officer Kimberley Gardiner.
However, Diaz doesn’t want to rush the growing process of Mitsubishi for the sake of more money. Diaz is looking to bolster the company’s product portfolio with vehicles such as the 2020 Outlander Sport, which is the company’s most popular vehicles in the diverse markets such as Australia, China, and North America. Diaz wishes to have a small company that produces over a million units a year, but also have a corporation that has beautiful financial statements.
Diaz has mentioned that the alliance between Mitsubishi and Renault-Nissan already has shown progress in regards to saving money on shipping and buying some commodities on a larger scale. But he’s excited for what the future has to bring as Mitsubishi introduces new vehicles that are based on shared bits. “In the not-too-distant future, you’re going to start seeing actual products that we’ll build on Alliance platforms,” he said.
2020 Outlander Sport:
For 2020, the Outlander Sport has the last refresh which includes a major overhaul under the sturdy and inventive design philosophy. Nate Berg, MMNA director of product planning, it emphasizes the brand’s reputation for toughness. The redesign of the 2020 Outlander Sports gives the vehicle a new front fascia, making the hood deeper, and adding the projected presence by the front end and the distinctive LEDs, which now come standard.
The LED place the fog lamps and the turn signals at the end of the bumper. In the rear, the 2020 Outlander Sport uses LED rear combination lamps but not used are the turns that stretch across the width of the car as it also predominates the wide stance. The skid plant at the underside of the bumper gives the look of strength, which in part is part of Mitsubishi’s heritage of stability and toughness.
“There are also significant changes to the interior, Berg said. The interior also has been restyled to include a horizontal instrument panel and center console that makes it easy for the driver to grasp the key controls. There’s also a new 8-inch touchscreen in the center stack as attention to details emphasizes the usability of the vehicle.
You can search the inventory of Outlander Sports at University Mitsubishi. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.