Free Access Articles , ,

Osamu Masuko

MITSUBISHI Motors, now a member of the Renault-Nissan Alliance under supremo Carlos Ghosn, has announced a dramatic global plan to accelerate sales by more than 30 per cent and undertaken to spend $A6.8 billion – allocating capital to new manufacturing facilities and research and development over three years.

The company also announced targets of a 30 per cent growth rate in global sales and wants to achieve an operating profit margin of six per cent by 2019.

While details about Australia’s role in the plan to boost sales will not be known until next week, the company’s ‘Drive for Growth’ plan unveiled in Japan yesterday does show it regards Australia as an important market.

Mitsubishi said it would plan for market expansion in the ASEAN and Oceania region – including Australia – which the company said had the greatest potential for growth. It would also target the US and China markets.

It said the plan involved more SUV and ute models which would form the backbone of the 11 new models to be launched over the next three years.

With these products, annual sales are set to grow at a rate of 30 per cent to 1.3 million vehicles while revenues are planned to rise about the same percentage to $A28.4 billion.

A key to Mitsubishi’s rejuvenation program was its relationship with fellow Alliance members Renault and Nissan.

In a statement, Mitsubishi chief executive Osamu Masuko said the company wanted synergies across the Alliance totalling more than $A1 billion over the three-year plan, with the bulk coming from procurement and costs avoided in R&D.

Electric Vehicle Experience Centre, Milton Keynes

The master plan is the first for Mitsubishi since it joined the Alliance after Nissan bought a controlling 34 per cent in October last year for almost $A3 billion.

It coincided with the Alliance chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn visiting Australia in June and enforcing new goals for Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. Shortly after the heads of Nissan and Renault’s Australian businesses were removed, however, Mitsubishi’s executives received praise.

Australia is a strong market for Mitsubishi and a weaker one for Nissan and Renault – precisely the opposite of Europe.

In year-to-date September sales data, Mitsubishi has sold 59,407 vehicles compared with Nissan (42,371) and Infiniti (585) and Renault (8173). The total of 110,536 compares with the combined sales of Toyota (including Lexus and Hino) at 173,099 and Volkswagen (Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Bentley) at 66,452 units.

As a percentage, Toyota group has 19.46 per cent of the total Australian market in year-to-date figures, while the Alliance has 12.47 per cent and Volkswagen has 7.47 per cent.

Mitsubishi Ground Tourer Concept

The planned growth in global market share led Mr Masuko to say that Mitsubishi aimed to achieve an operating profit margin of six per cent “or more” by the end of the Japanese fiscal year ending March 2019. This represents a dramatic rise from the 2016 financial year that had an operating profit margin of only 0.3 per cent.

“Drive for Growth is a new roadmap for Mitsubishi Motors,” he said.

“We will rebuild trust in our company as our highest priority, successfully launch new vehicles, and achieve a V-shaped financial recovery.

“These will be the foundations for our future sustainable growth, which will involve increased capital expenditure and product development spending.”

By Neil Dowling

e-Evolution Concept

Dealer Auction