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Mitsubishi might be the smaller player in the global three-way alliance with Renault and Nissan, but here in Australia, the brand is outperforming its partners, and that is underscoring the local market’s importance to overseas executives.
However, here in Australia, it was Mitsubishi who outsold its partners in 2021 with 67,732 sales compared to Nissan’s 41,263 and Renault’s 7099 tally.
Mitsubishi’s 2022 tally, so far, is also well ahead of Nissan’s 13,342 and Renault’s 3988 figures.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed at Mitsubishi headquarters in Japan, according to Mitsubishi Australia boss Shaun Westcott, who told CarsGuide the three-way conglomerate has taken notice of the local market’s success.
“The globally announced strategy is that there are designed leaders and followers in certain markets, and the Alliance – all our partners, Nissan and Renault – have agreed that in this market, we are the leader,” he said.
“And the fact that we are so successful in Australia, the fact that our products do resonate so well with our target market, the fact that we do outsell Nissan by almost double in Australia means we are getting a lot of things right.”
And it’s not just Australia that Mitsubishi is taking the lead on, it’s the entire South-East Asia and Oceania region, according the Alliance strategy.
Mitsubishi is also at the forefront of the Alliance in terms of plug-in hybrids like the soon-to-launch Outlander PHEV and already on-sale Eclipse Cross, while Nissan and Renault are yet to come to the Australian market with that powertrain option.
Of note however, Nissan and Renault both offer full-electric models in the form of the Leaf and Kangoo respectively, while Mitsubishi has no official plans in place to return to the tailpipe emissions-free market after the discontinuation of the i-MiEV.
This strong position has put Mitsubishi Australia in the driver’s seat for future products too, said Mr Westcott, with new models developed with the local market in mind.
“We are a core market for them, we are central to their strategy, we are one of the most successful Mitsubishi operations in the world,” he said.
“And they listen to us and we listen to them, and we work collaboratively, cooperatively and very closely together to develop products that we believe will resonate in the market.”
And it’s not just the product portfolio. According to Mr Westcott, Mitsubishi Australia’s strong aftersales support, 10-year warranty program and more are endearing local customers to the brand.
“That’s the market positioning – it’s understanding our customers, it’s providing our customers with the right, not only products, but service that meets their needs,” he said.
“We’re getting a lot of things right, it’s not just product.”