Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
November 12, 2012
When the news broke of Suzuki leaving the U.S., there was chorus of people who said this; “How long does Mitsubishi have in the U.S.?”
This a good question considering the evidence. Mitsubishi sales through October have dropped 29% to 50,103 vehicles. Mitsubishi’s market share has also dropped from 0.7% to 0.4% in the same period last year. Also, Mitsubishi’s dealers lead all automakers in the U.S. with backlogged inventory.
"We have no intention whatsoever of withdrawing from the U.S. market. The U.S. market is a very important market," said Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko.
Masuko says the decline in sales is due to departure of four Mitsubishi models; the Eclipse coupe and convertible, Endeavor, and Galant. While sales are expected to totaled 55,000 vehicles in this fiscal year, Masuko says he expect sales to rebound to 80,000 vehicles in the next fiscal year thanks to new vehicles including the Outlander.
Mitsubishi is also planning to expand production at its factory in Normal, Illinois from 50,000 to 70,000 vehicles to fill demand for markets including Russia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Finally, Mitsubishi has appointed Gayu Uesugi as the chairman of Mitsubishi Motors North America. Uesugi duties will include crafting a profitable product plan, strategy for growth, and manufacturing blueprint for the U.S.
Whether all of the moves work or not, we'll have to wait and see.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.