Mitsubishi Consolidating Growth StrategiesBy Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 07/19/2021 - 10:29
Q: Mitsubishi Motors continues its path toward consolidating its brand in the Mexican market. How have these strategies advanced amid the pandemic?
A: We have been very successful in this regard thanks to our collaboration with new investor groups. We opened two new dealerships during the pandemic. We are working on a consolidation strategy to improve our dealerships by focusing on their performance and are developing a really profitable network. This is a priority for us. New dealership groups are trusting Mitsubishi Motors and that means we are on the right path.
Q: What are the opportunities ahead for Mitsubishi Motors given your strong performance in the pickup segment?
A: Given its quality, performance and competitiveness, the L200 is our winning model in the pickup segment, with a 5.5 percent market share in 2020. That grew by 34 percent in 1Q21. Its best sales month was in March 2021, with a 70 percent increase against the previous month. Jalisco, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and Tamaulipas are among our strongest locations for this segment. In May we launched our L200 automatic transmission, which exceeded the sales forecast for by + 240%.
Q: How does Mitsubishi balance the physical experience and digital sales?
A: The pandemic forced people to remain home. During that time, we improved the customer journey from an analytics point of view. As we mentioned at Mexico Automotive Summit, we follow leads depending on the channel through which we received them. Digital research remains really important to us. When it comes to digital sales, we had a 1,119 percent year-on-year growth in April 2021. We are seeing people return to dealerships but digital tools will remain essential in the sales process. As for lead generation, in April we experienced 80 percent growth in lead generation with 95 percent customer follow-up. This is the formula for good conversion and sales.
Q: How does Mitsubishi Motors ensure it is paying close attention to its customers’ needs?
A: We listen to our customers. We have product clinics where the customer provides feedback to improve our products and processes. We perform market research and stay on the look-out for other market intelligence tools relevant to our segment. Social media monitoring is also key for us. We need to be aware of our brand reputation. We actively engage our dealerships to hear what our salesforce is thinking and to see what they need. Evaluation surveys before and after sales are also important. All this is easier said than done but our customers deserve to have their expectations surpassed.
Q: What are Mitsubishi’s Motors best practices to secure qualified sales staff?
A: Training is essential for our business, as are communication and information. Information does not scale naturally. We took a proactive approach to create the conversations most needed during the pandemic. We heard practically from 100 percent of our people and received first-hand information on how they were living the new normal, while taking note on how we could improve their working tools and overall sales process. We will launch Mitsubishi School, an intranet, to help us train our people across different areas.
Q: What are the roles of hybrid and electric vehicles within Mitsubishi Motors´ strategy?
A: Mitsubishi Motors developed the plug-in hybrid technology, so this area is important to us. In México, sales of hybrid vehicles grew 200 percent between 2016 and 2020. Our Outlander PHEV was the second-best-selling model within the plug-in hybrid segment. Our global targets include reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent (in comparison to 2010’s emissions) and electrifying 50% of our by 2030 .
Electrification in Mexico will depend on the will of the population. Large OEMs have invested millions in these products but a series of incentives, regulations and advocates are necessary to increase their prevalence. We need to create a set of guidelines to foster the growth of these segments, rather than relying on the isolated efforts of OEMs.
Q: What are Mitsubishi Motors priorities going forward?
A: Our priority this year is to consolidate our advancements from the last two years. We have strengthened our teams, launched new models and will strengthen our position with new products for the Mexican market, including our electric lineup. Operations and dealership consolidation will make us financially sustainable for the long term after two years of operating independently, one of them amid a global pandemic.
Mitsubishi Motors de México is a subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors. The brand has a long history in the country with a 1.3 percent market share in 2020. It started operating independently in the country in 2019 and was ranked third on J.D. Power's 2020 Mexico Sales Satisfaction Index.