With the recent launch of the U.S.-spec i-MiEV electric car at the LA Auto Show, Mitsubishi has announced a plan to help bring the company back to its former self.
In 2002 the Japanese automaker sold 345,111 vehicles and operated 637 retail outlets in the United States. Currently, there are just 401 dealerships and the total sales figures are a scant 53,986 units.
Seeing the correlation, Mitsubishi will launch 26 new dealers over the next year, with three new stores in Texas, seven in California and the rest in 11 other states, mostly in the West or East. The dealerships aren’t just designed to sell any car, but to support the rollout of the new i-MiEV electric car. According to PR rep Maurice Durand, Mitsubishi also wants to put dealers back in place in markets where previous dealers had shut down during the recession.
Apart from the shrinking dealer numbers, Mitsubishi is also facing an issue of aging products, with little new in the lineup apart from the the Outlander Sport (a smaller compact crossover compared to the Outlander) in the past several years.
[Source: Automotive News via 4WheelsNews]