Auto Service World
News   January 24, 2002   by Auto Service World

Mitsubishi to Enter Canada On Schedule in 2003

Mitsubishi Motors has confirmed its plans to bring it’s product line into the Canadian market next year.
The plan, which was announced last year, had recently been questioned by some in light of current market conditions.
Eexecutives confirmed today that the company is on schedule to deliver a full line of fine cars and sport utility vehicles to Canadian consumers in 2003 through a nationwide network of dealerships.
Showcasing their full model line at the Montreal International Auto Show, company executives said they have set an ambitious launch plan for Canada and are confident of its success.
“We’re not coming up here to test the market with one or two products like other manufacturers have done,” said Pierre Gagnon, president and chief operating officer of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc. “We’re bringing a full complement of vehicles,” Gagnon said.
“That’s a testament to our confidence in the Canadian market, and the strength of our products and our brand.”
Gagnon said the Canada launch will help Mitsubishi Motors sustain its extraordinary momentum in North America. The company has posted a 69% increase in sales over the past three years.
“After three consecutive years of record sales, record profits, record brand awareness and record market share in the United States, we are now ready to make a strong entry into the Canadian market,” Gagnon said.
Randy Sears, senior vice president and general manager for Canadian operations, said Mitsubishi Motors is aiming to have 51 dealers in 23 regional markets by early 2003, with the dealer network expanding to 150 by 2007. The company expects first-year sales volume of at least 20,000 vehicles in 2003, rising to at least 37,000 in 2007.
“The tremendous response from potential dealers makes us confident that our projections for this market are well within reach,” Sears said. “The excitement is really starting to build as we head to market.”
Gagnon said that in addition to its 8 current models, Mitsubishi plans to launch three new products in the next 12 months for a total of 11 overall. He and Sears said they are particularly excited about the sales prospects in Canada for Lancer, the compact sedan launched in the U.S. in August.
“We believe Lancer will be an especially strong seller here in Montreal,” Gagnon said. “This is a market that loves the compact car segment, but demands value for the price. That makes Lancer the perfect car for Montreal. It has a tremendous amount of style, personality and verve, but it offers exceptional value when compared to its competitors.”
In addition to Lancer, the company displayed its Montero, Montero Sport, Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder, Galant and Diamante models at the Montreal show.