Mitsubishi sets new annual sales record in Australia

From the press release on AutoNews:

“Mitsubishi Motors Australia established a new annual sales record of 84,944 vehicles in 2018, according to official VFACTS figures released today.

The record annual result capped a solid year for Mitsubishi with sales up 5.3% year-on-year against an overall decline of 3.0% in the new car market.

Triton was Mitsubishi’s best-selling model last year with over 24,000 units sold. 

ASX and Outlander contributed over 19,000 and 15,000 sales respectively, with the ASX maintaining its position as the best-selling small SUV in 2018.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia, CEO, John Signoriello said the market last year was much more challenging than anticipated but the investment in our SUV and LCV model range had delivered a good outcome for the brand.”

The ASX isn’t something I would buy given that it is nearing obsolescence, however this goes to show that in a cutthroat segment of the market, heavy discounting that undercuts better competitors works. It would be fascinating to see how much of a profit dealers are making on the ASX. The model itself was first introduced in 2010 and is based on a platform first introduced in 2005 - and given the dated technologies being used, would be cheap to manufacture; however, this would be offset by the discounted prices.

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Above: Mitsubishi ASX

Another thing this result demonstrates is the strong growth of SUVs and Utes in the Australian market over passenger cars (i.e. sedans/hatchbacks/station wagons). The age of the family sedan which had the Commodore, Falcon and Camry as its flagbearers is at an end. Over the last 10-15 years, Mitsubishi has shifted to an SUV/Ute dominant strategy, with the positively ancient Lancer and Mirage the only passenger cars in the lineup. Based on these results, it seems the company has put its eggs in the right basket.

Nissan and Mitsubishi to fire chairman Carlos Ghosn

Hans Greimel, writing for Automotive News:

‘Ghosn, 64, allegedly under-reported his income in official stock market filings. He diverted corporate investment funds for personal use. And he misused company expenses, Saikawa said. Ghosn was taken into custody earlier in the day after arriving at a Tokyo airport and charged with similar violations of Japan’s financial laws, local media reported.

It was bombshell development for one of the industry’s most storied executives and a man who created its biggest automotive partnership, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Ghosn oversees them all as chairman of the alliance, while individually chairing all three carmakers and concurrently serving as CEO of French partner Renault.’

This is shocking. Alongside the late Sergio Marchionne, Ghosn is one of the most influential and famous executives in the automotive industry, and widely credited with turning around the fortunes of Nissan and for forming the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. It will be fascinating to see the consequences of these revelations unfold and their impact on the Alliance, given the substantial amount of power Ghosn held over the three companies.

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Above: Brands of the Alliance. From left to right, they are Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Dacia, Renault-Samsung, Lada, Alpine, Infiniti, Venucia and Datsun.