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Old 09-09-2010, 10:19 AM   #1
XDCX
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Default Does Mitsubishi have a future in the U.S.?

I've noticed Mitsubishi's been in the new lately and both events make me wonder if they have plans to exit the U.S.

Earlier this month Mitsubishi agreed to increase the hourly pay of their workers in Normal, IL because the company had not met a deadline where they were required to name the future models that would be built in that plant. The plant currently builds the Galant, Endeavor and Eclipse and it's unclear how Mitsubishi will use the plant when those vehicles are phased out.

This week, Mitsubishi announced their VP of Purchasing and Supply is going to retire and they don't plan to back-fill the position.

At a minimum it appears Mitsubishi doesn't have plans to be building vehicles in the U.S. and it's not unreasonable to question whether they have long-term plans to sell vehicles here. Isuzu pulled out of the U.S. when their sales fell to a level too low to cover the expenses of doing business in this country.

To be clear, I'm not wishing any ill-will on the Mitsubishi dealers, I just wonder what's happening in light of recent events.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:19 PM   #2
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Maybe it's just me, but I'm not even seeing any Mitsubishi advertising, outside of the occassional dealer ad.

XDCX - You make some good points. I'd be curious to hear what's going on as well.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:22 PM   #3
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Didin't they take a bath after the 0/0/0 deals back in the day? I recall they bought alot of bad paper to roll units and never fully recovered from it..

Joe Isuzu's comeback couldn't save Isuzu either..
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:58 PM   #4
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Didin't they take a bath after the 0/0/0 deals back in the day? I recall they bought alot of bad paper to roll units and never fully recovered from it..
That's a great point. I remember that program sold a ton of cars and then blew-up once the 12 month mark hit and people needed to make their payments. The repossession losses were reported to be huge - all of a sudden there was a flood of one year old Mitsubishis flowing through the auction and not a penny was by the customer to lower the loan balance.

In some ways the meltdown that's happened with real estate in this country follows the same pattern as Mitsubishi's 0/0/0 program.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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Default Down only 4% for the year...

I did some quick checking and was surprised to read Mitsubishi is only down 4% for the year.

Here's an excerpt from a report I read: For the year so far, Mitsubishi sales are down 4 percent to 36,431 vehicles.

That's still only about 4,500 vehicle per month and I wonder how many of those are rental cars?
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:36 AM   #6
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Default Mitsubishi Motors President remains committed to the U.S. Market

I just read an article in Automotive News where the President of Mitsubishi Motors reaffirmed the company's commitment to the U.S. market and indicates a plan will be released later this year detailing how they intend to increase sales and market share.

At their peak in 2002 Mitsubishi sold 354,111 vehicles - they'll likely sell fewer than 50,000 vehicles in 2010.

The company's goal is to reach a sales level of 200,000 units in the U.S. but they did not set a time table.

Call me a skeptic, but I think Mitsubishi's going to have a tough time increasing their sales by 400% unless they have some incredibly hot product in the pipeline no one knows about.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:09 PM   #7
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i sell dodge and when it comes to trucks, im all dodge. but i drive a 1991 mitsubishi 3000gt. mitsubishi's most powerful production car of all time with awd twin turbo v6 320 hp. mitsubishi is my favorite car company and with the evolution 10 now being released in canada i can see they're sales going up. the evo itself is the best modern day japanese performance sport compact.(obviously the 2010-11 gtr is the best japanese sports performer). mitsubishi has the best warranty in the business with 10-5-5 correct me if im wrong i may very well be. i live in edmonton and i read in the paper we drive more mitsubishi's per capita then anywhere else in the world. mitsubishi built they're first production car in 1935 and i truly believe they have the best engines today. if they can build a suv or perfect the outlander they could take that market. grand cherokee's are an awesome suv but people want import. my auntie just bought a lexus. drop the eclipse cuzz people who want fast drive the evo. perfect the galant into a luxury car. just fine tune the line-up a bit and sales will go through the roof...also lets see that mitsubishi RA hit the sales floor soon...sorry for the long post. i just really believe in mitsubishi...
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:46 AM   #8
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They are good mechanical products, with very sound drivetrains. Their business marketing has been the downfall. The 0-0-0 plan nearly killed them, and left them very weak.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:49 AM   #9
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They are good mechanical products, with very sound drivetrains. Their business marketing has been the downfall. The 0-0-0 plan nearly killed them, and left them very weak.
I'd agree with that assessment.

I remember when the Eagle Talon TSi was released - it was and absolutely phenomenal car and the Jeep dealers were really excited about the future of the Eagle brand. Sadly MMC/Chrysler messed up the styling of the second generation Talon and the vehicle lost its momentum.

On their own MMC suffered with poor marketing, poor advertising and mostly forgettable vehicle names.

In some ways it's surprising Penske didn't investigate using MMC as a manufacturer when he was trying to purchase Saturn from GM. As I recall the only reason the Saturn/Penske deal died was because Nissan pulled the plug at the very last minute to supply vehicles.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:52 AM   #10
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I have just found out that 2 of Vancouver BC's Mitsubishi dealerships are closing their doors this month, primarily due to lack of support from Mitsubishi. One of the dealerships is turning into a Nissan dealer. I'm unaware of what the plan is for the second.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:20 PM   #11
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I have just found out that 2 of Vancouver BC's Mitsubishi dealerships are closing their doors this month, primarily due to lack of support from Mitsubishi. One of the dealerships is turning into a Nissan dealer. I'm unaware of what the plan is for the second.
Thanks for the update.

I read the other day that Mitsubishi's going to kill-off the EVO and no longer offer a high performance vehicle in their line-up. Apparently Mitsubishi wants to be viewed as an OEM that embraces new technology and they plan to introduce a series of electric vehicles.

That said, I can't blame a dealer for dropping Mitsubishi and picking up Nissan instead.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:31 PM   #12
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This is a franchise I would wish to have. In the past, they have had some "franchise collectors" instead of dealers, and now they are gunshy about new dealer inquiries. I think they have a place in the U.S., unlike suzuki who was sucked dry by their relaionship with GM. Howevr, I agree, a Nissan franchise is a world ahead of M, and clearly the best pick.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:18 PM   #13
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This is a franchise I would wish to have. In the past, they have had some "franchise collectors" instead of dealers, and now they are gunshy about new dealer inquiries. I think they have a place in the U.S., unlike suzuki who was sucked dry by their relaionship with GM. Howevr, I agree, a Nissan franchise is a world ahead of M, and clearly the best pick.
Great comments.

It's interesting that Mitsubishi is a bit gun-shy about adding new dealers. While I agree with your comment that many of their existing stores may be nothing more than "franchise collectors" I would think Mitsubishi could address that concern with future dealers by using a term dealer agreement.

Concerning Nissan, I've been meaning to start a thread about the dealer in Ohio who's fighting Nissan's termination of his franchise because he contends Nissan's method of calculating sales performance is flawed. I was surprised to learn that Nissan's been trying to terminate dealerships.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:36 AM   #14
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I haven't heard about the Ohio dealer - Nissan Lawsuit, but I do know of one in Indiana against Mazda. The dealer is "pondering settlement offers" from Mazda with 6 digits. You know this goes beyond manipulation; into the area of criminal action if one has the "Proof", and, of course, that's the rub. It takes one hell of a lot of guts to fight the factory on this issue, and it's no wonder these suits get filed AFTER termination and then dealer wins. I'll bet there were many of these cases that were "wiped out" by the banruptcies.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:08 PM   #15
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My take on Mits;
They have nice looking products.
Not a lot of advertising, is ad money based upon sales?
If gas keeps going up, a Mits. Dealership could benefit.
I always thought a Mits. dealership would be a good fit w/ Dodge, now DCJ.
More so years ago when Neon was the only small car and Durango the only SUV. Chrysler is lacking on small, good mpg vehicles, and Mits could help fill that gap. I guess that is Fiat's plan now.
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