Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand (MMNZ) is celebrating two of its best results in 20 years: a massive 1,028 sales in March, which capped off an outstanding financial year result of more than 8,200 units sold. That figure commanded a 6.3% market share and ensured the company’s sixth consecutive year of growth.
Mitsubishi finished clearly ahead of traditionally close competitors Nissan and Hyundai and Mitsubishi head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook was delighted with the result, which placed the brand fifth overall.
“When you consider the popularity right across our vehicle range, our excellent dealer network, multi award-winning Customer Care Centre, and the fact that we provide New Zealand’s best new vehicle warranty1: those are several compelling reasons for customers to choose us ahead of other brands,” said Mr Cook.
“To finish the year well ahead of some of our closest competitors is an achievement that we are all very proud of. I would like to thank each and every one of our loyal and growing customer base who have chosen a Mitsubishi.”
Off the bench
Mitsubishi’s sales surge was boosted by strong performances from two key additions to this season’s line-up.
Storming onto the paddock early-2015, the updated Triton proved an immediate crowd pleaser. The new-look ute placed third overall in the light commercial vehicle segment in the final quarter of the year (January to March) and was the best-selling 2WD model in March alongside the Toyota Hilux, both with 293 sales.
“This muscular new Triton performs the dual role of work truck and family vehicle better than ever,” said Mr Cook. “It’s as tough as nails and drives like a high-end SUV: what’s not to love?”
Following on from Triton’s success, the all-new Pajero Sport hit the road in December. Available in XLS or premium VRX specifications, this impressive SUV has sold consistently since its release.
“Pajero is our flagship vehicle and the Sport is the best we’ve ever produced; it’s absolutely tailor-made for New Zealand,” said Mr Cook. “With its rally-tested Pajero heritage and significant off-road advancements and luxury appointments, Pajero Sport has major appeal with Kiwi drivers.”
With customer preferences shifting towards SUVs in New Zealand, Mitsubishi was well placed with a strong range of star players including ASX 2WD and 4WD, Outlander 2WD and 4WD, Pajero Sport and the iconic Pajero.
“Our popular ASX crossover and Outlander SUVs have been setting the benchmark for style and performance and have really helped the brand win the hearts of New Zealanders,” said Mr Cook. “Customers love the versatility, safety and comfort these vehicles offer.”
Mitsubishi’s ever-popular Lancer and Mirage models ensured strong sales continued in the sedan and small car segment.
“In 2014, twice as many private ‘small sedan’ buyers chose Lancer over its nearest competitor and we saw a continuation of that trend last year,” said Mr Cook. “It’s a sharply styled car that offers exceptional value.”
Mirage also competed well against its rivals, with Mr Cook confident the new model released on 1 April would strengthen sales further heading into a new financial year.
“Delivering outstanding fuel economy of 4.9L/100km at a competitive price, motorists will love the stylish and modern new design and, when they climb inside the Mirage’s classy interior, they are sure to smile.”
The revolutionary Outlander Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) has built on Outlander’s longstanding appeal, delivering exceptional fuel economy for SUV drivers looking to reduce running costs and emissions without compromising comfort or performance.
Outlander PHEV dominated the plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle market, accounting for more than 60% of all units sold in the segment in 2015. It also won the honour of being the first and only vehicle of its kind to be included in the ‘All-of-Government’ vehicle-purchasing contract.
“Almost unbelievable fuel efficiency is just the start,” said Mr Cook. “The PHEV uses a Twin Motor 4WD system to drive the front and rear wheels, delivering better response and finer control than conventional mechanical systems. More than 50km of pure electric drive and average fuel economy of just 1.8L per 100km set it apart from the competition.”
Mr Cook was quick to acknowledge the vital role Mitsubishi’s sales, service and customer care staff played in achieving the company’s latest results.
“Right across our 56 nationwide dealerships and Customer Care Centre (CCC), we have excellent staff who love what they do and remain dedicated to delivering the best customer service possible, way beyond the sale of a vehicle.
“Every year we applaud the hard work of our sales and service teams through our annual Diamond Dealers awards. Not only do we get the chance to recognise and reward success, it creates the kind of healthy competition that leads to results like this.
“The performance of our CCC team simply speaks for itself: this year won its fourth consecutive CRM Supreme Award and fifth consecutive Retail Support Services / Transport Sector Award2.”
“The team at Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand is looking forward to the 2016 financial year and further growing the strong customer support we have received over the past six years.”
1 Mitsubishi Diamond Advantage is New Zealand’s best new car warranty: ten-year/160,000km powertrain warranty, five-year/130,000km new vehicle warranty and five-year/130,000km roadside assist.
2 Organised by CRM Consulting, the CRM Contact Centre Awards have been running since 1997. Winners are selected from call centres across 14 different industries, based on analysis of extensive surveys and mystery shopping results.