President and CEO Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc. has announced that this month marks the start of our 11th year in Canada, making Mitsubishi one of the youngest automakers in the land – although Mitsubishi Motors has been around for nearly a century around the world.
During our first decade in Canada we have successfully established our brand, raised our sales volume to 20,000 vehicles annually, made significant investments to grow our head office and parts distribution facilities, and added employment and dealerships (now at 88) across Canada.
And let’s not forget that Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada has also been a pioneer in bringing electric vehicle technology to the mainstream of automotive sales with the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
This past year has also seen an unprecedented launch schedule of new products.
In June, the third-generation Mitsubishi Outlander sport utility debuted – more sophisticated and refined than ever. Redesigned and re-engineered, the 2014 Outlander radiates quality and comfort like never before, optimizes fuel efficiency and introduces advanced, new technologies to the range such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Mitigation.
Since our start in Canada, we have sold more than 52,000 Outlander compact sport-utility models. And it appears the new 2014 model is enjoying some early traction in the marketplace. At the time of writing, our available sales data covers the first seven months of 2013 and with 12,844 vehicle sales so far, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada is 9.6 per cent ahead of last year’s pace, with Outlander the hottest seller in July.
Our second launch of 2013 occurs in two weeks (Sept. 24), when our dealerships will begin selling the all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage – our first foray in the subcompact car segment.
In Canada, research suggests subcompact buyers seek fuel economy, price and value in their purchases. Well, Mirage will lead the segment with an astonishing 4.4L/100 km (64 mpg) rating on highway drives, feature a starting price of only $12,498 and is backed by one of the best warranties in the world – 10 years or 160,000 kilometres limited powertrain, five years or 100,000 km limited new vehicle and five years, unlimited mileage roadside assistance. In addition, the all-new Mirage will feature seven standard airbags.
The introduction of Mirage speaks to our core strategy in Canada – namely, to compete in large, sustainable segments with an eye on growing our business and dealership network. Moreover, the products we showcase in these segments provide examples of our innovative nature.
This strategy is working for us and nowhere is that more apparent than here in the province of Quebec. Consumers in Quebec have helped to put Mitsubishi on the map, accounting for more than 40 per cent of our national sales. In fact, we expect Mirage sales in Quebec will exceed that amount given the notable thirst for fuel-efficient, fun-to-drive small cars in this province. It’s no coincidence, therefore, that we hosted the North American debut of our newest subcompact at the 2013 Montreal International Auto Show last January. Moreover, this month Mitsubishi will conduct the first North American media drive program for Mirage in Quebec City.
Beyond Mirage and Outlander, our remaining product lineup includes notable success stories in their own right.
Let’s start with Mitsubishi’s exclusive All-Wheel Control system, or AWC. AWC isn’t one technology but rather a suite of technologies designed to provide superior levels of performance in the most challenging road conditions. With four distinct AWC systems, Mitsubishi Motors is a recognized leader in the development of advanced all-wheeldrive technologies.
Our top-selling vehicle is the Mitsubishi Lancer compact sedan; it’s actually a family of vehicles from Lancer to Lancer Evolution, but also the Ralliart and the Sportback models. All-wheel control is a mainstay of the Lancer family, and is available for as little as $22,998 in the Lancer SE AWC. The three-mode, selectable system (2WD/4WD/4WD Lock) continuously monitors the road and transfers power and braking to the wheels with the most traction to improve handling.
Right behind Lancer in sales is the Mitsubishi RVR. All-wheel control is available for as little as $25,698 on the RVR SE AWC, providing our popular compact crossover an intelligent, electronic drive technology activated with the touch of a button (selections are like those in the Lancer, 2WD mode, 4WD Auto and 4WD Lock).
Before I leave the subject, let me also add that a more sophisticated level of AWC – where the front-to-rear torque split is managed by electronically-controlled hydraulic clutches via an active centre differential – is found in the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and Lancer Sportback Ralliart. And on the Outlander compact sport-utility, the available Super All-Wheel Control adds torque vectoring to the front axle and left/right torque split at the wheels via an active front differential.
It’s not often an automobile contributes to a community’s ecological goals, but that’s exactly what our all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV is doing. The zero-emission i-MiEV hatchback is a technological tour-de-force and has been named by National Resources Canada for two consecutive years as the most fuel-efficient subcompact car in Canada.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is also Canada’s most affordable four-passenger all-electric car. It is versatile, fun and highway-capable with a range of up to 155 kilometres and, in my opinion, another great example of the innovation we bring to the Canadian marketplace. I firmly believe that our next 10 years in Canada will be marked by continuous innovation, providing Canadian consumers a lot more for a lot less! As I mentioned in this forum last year, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada also does its part to look after less fortunate people around the world. This past June, for instance, we helped bring the dream of a better life for children with a $161,250 donation to the international humanitarian organization Right To Play.
On hand to receive our latest donation on the banks of the beautiful Squamish River in British Columbia, was Silken Laumann, a Right To Play International Board member, Athlete Ambassador and Olympic champion.
In the five years of our involvement in Right To Play, we have raised nearly $1.8 million for children who face unfathomable challenges. Our support was possible by earmarking a donation for every retail sale of a Mitsubishi vehicle. Our latest donation will make a difference in disadvantaged areas of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Canada.
Companies are not bricks and mortar; they are organic – comprised of hard-working people who care about the world in which they live. We have 80 employees from all walks of life with many involved in their communities, raising children and giving back when possible.
We are in business in Canada to stay – strong products, strong dealers, a zeal for innovation and respect for our communities.
The all New Mitsubishi Mirage will arrive at Fraser Valley Mitsubishi mid September….