Aside from stressing that Mitsubishi will remain in the US market, company president Osamu Masuko has raised its personal mid-range sales target to 200,000 units annually, a marked increase from the current level of 50,000. Masuko admitted that its sales have dropped significantly since US sales peaked at 354,111 vehicles in 2002. Nevertheless, he predicts that sales will be reversed and will expand in the next two years.
He said that the key to its success will be new products, patience, moderate incentives and sustainable growth. In a Tuesday interview, Masuko said that withdrawing from the market has never entered his mind. Mitsubishi's US sales have fallen by about 4% to 36,431 units through August while the overall market is up 8% year-to-date.
The rapid expansion that Mitsubishi experienced in the early 2000s is partly attributed to unprecedented 0% financing. Analysts began to wonder if Mitsubishi, which had a rapid drop in sales, would pull out of the market similar to what Isuzu did in January 2009. To gradually increase sales, Masuko said that the carmaker will need more disciplined incentives. [via autonews - sub. required]