Mitsubishi and Suzuki falling behind rivals in US sales, market share

Article by Anita Panait, on August 28, 2012

It seems that second-tier Japanese carmakers Mitsubishi and Suzuki are currently struggling to keep up with the challenges brought about by the aggressive vehicle launches and introductions of their rivals in the United States. According to sources familiar with Mitsubishi’s product plans, the Japanese carmaker has only plotted two major vehicle introductions for the United States between this year and 2015.

As for Suzuki, sources privy to the company said that it is not planning any new or redesigned product launches before 2015. Both Japanese carmakers are concentrating more on emerging markets while their US sales and market share decline. When combined, Mitsubishi and Suzuki held a 0.6 percent share of the US market through July 2012, down from 0.8 percent for the full year 2011 and 1.4 percent in 2007.

While the overall market rose 14 percent, Mitsubishi sales dropped a dismal 29 percent to just 37,067 vehicles for the first seven months of July. Suzuki sales, meanwhile, dove 4 percent to 15,260 units for the same review period. Although Mitsubishi and Suzuki claim they are here for the long term, they fail to keep abreast with their counterparts -- Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, Subaru and Mazda -- in new product launches, making them fall behind their competitors.

In 2002, Mitsubishi sold 345,111 vehicles in the US, more than Volkswagen and Kia, and within 30,000 units of Hyundai. Suzuki, on the other hand, sold more than 100,000 units as recently as 2007. Mitsubishi spokesman Roger Yasukawa wrote Automotive News in an e-mail, saying that the company is going through a transitional period to strengthen its product lineup in the US.

Mitsubishi has yet again reintroduced itself victoriously to the North American car industry with its brand new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage. This 5-door sub-compact is marketed as the most fuel-efficient model among the gasoline-powered cars in America.

Boasting its topnotch fuel efficiency, the stylish Mitsubishi Mirage takes pride in its impressive fuel economy of 37 mpg and 44 mpg in the city and highway respectively.

Aside from its impressive fuel economy, the Mirage also never fails to deliver exciting acceleration in urban driving. It is also equipped with a smart ECO indicator that automatically illuminates to inform the driver whether they are driving in a way that contributes for ultimate fuel efficiency.

The all-new Mirage highlights the following safety features: Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); a driver's knee airbag, a Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) which includes front side-impact air bags, front air bags, and curtain air bags; 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD); and Brake Assist. Another standard feature among the CVT models is the Hill Start Assist (HSA).

All models also include the Active Stability Control (ASC) that is integrated into the Traction Control Logic (TCL). The ASC/TCL system stabilizes the vehicle as soon as it recognizes skidding or when there’s a loss of traction on wet conditions and slippery roads.

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