Jorge Vallejo
CEO
Mitsubishi Motors de México
/
View from the Top

Mitsubishi: Thinking Strategically to Sustain Growth

By Alejandro Enríquez | Tue, 09/29/2020 - 12:10

Q: What are Mitsubishi Motors’ strategies for the Mexican market?

A: Mitsubishi Motors has been in a stabilization stage for a year and a half, since we began operating independently. Detaching from FCA in Mexico implied the need to build a new dealership network, a new logistics infrastructure, suppliers and other aspects. The pandemic then further complicates the landscape. As we ramp up our operations, we are focusing on stabilization, not only in terms of sales but our relationship with dealerships and brand awareness regarding the 102-year-legacy of Mitsubishi Motors and our product portfolio. Our strategic pillars are a great product and a great dealership network under the “small and beautiful” motto.

Mitsubishi’s lineup is strongly focused on safety and performance. The clearest example is our recent introduction of the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 2021 in August. This model will allow us to compete in a segment where price and performance is important, since it gives the customer 26km/L. We will offer the fifth generation of our Outlander and we will continue promoting Montero Sport and our PHEV units. Let us not forget that Mitsubishi Motors is the creator of PHEV technology. We are expanding our legacy in terms of technological innovation. The pickup L-200 is our bet on a more personal experience. Naturally, we have big surprises for the Mexican market.

As for the future, we are confident about delivering sustained growth. We have a 1.3 percent market share now with a small lineup and small investments in the media. Our goal is to continue growing hand-in-hand with our dealerships as brand ambassadors. Our target is to reach 1.6 percent market share by 2021 but we do not want to hurry. Rather, we prefer to be consistent with our product, quality, sales and aftersales service.

Q: Who is your target consumer?

A: We have always been successful in the SUV segment and it remains our priority. We are aware that we are niche brand but in Mexico, Mitsubishi’s legacy is well-known. It is important to remember that the first mass-produced vehicle was the Model A by Mitsubishi in Japan 102 years ago. In some countries, we are No. 1 in market share, while in other markets we excel in sales of accessories, mostly in Asia. We intend to replicate this success in Mexico, reaching an audience that is aware of our history. We want consumers who focuses on quality, who want to avoid unnecessary maintenance and who want to enjoy greater margins when selling their vehicles.

Q: What have been Mitsubishi Motors’ strategies regarding the pandemic?

A: We could not wait for the market. We took the initiative and defined a clear strategy early on. The pandemic taught us that decision-making needs to be agile. After one year operating independently in the country, we expected more than good results. But amid the pandemic, we created an alternative plan that changed not only the source of our products but also the entry port, cost efficiencies and operators. All Mitsubishi products to be sold in the country will come from Thailand instead of Japan due to exchange rates that will allow us to be more competitive in the market.

Regarding dealerships, we are reengineering our network to have fewer groups but greater scope for better performance. With our dealers, we are clear that both the brand and dealerships should be profitable. We remain positive and despite the pandemic, we were able to grow 2 percent compared to August 2019.

We are also aware of our social commitment to our customers and society. Amid the pandemic, we supported the community with medical equipment, lending vehicles to medical staff and, with our logistics partners, we focused on last-mile delivery of food and groceries. Corporate social responsibility should be a priority for every company. It is not only about selling products but supporting the community you live in, as well.

Q: What are Mitsubishi Motors’ e-commerce and digitalization strategies?

A: When we ramped up our operations a year ago, we started a digitalization process throughout our value chain. In the financial area, we have already been implementing digitalization strategies to make processes and procedures more efficient. The pandemic was indeed a catalyst for digitalization. When it comes to dealerships, we created new tools for lead generation and immediate follow-ups.

Q: What role will Mitsubishi Motors play within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance?

A: Mitsubishi Motors de México is the 11th subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Group. The alliance is directing long-term strategies that will strengthen synergies in different areas across different companies. Where companies are strong, the others will learn and vice versa. In Mexico, this was already happening with our financial branches. The benefits of the alliance will be more evident in the coming months and years as we strengthen our capabilities together.

 

Mitsubishi Motors de México is a subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors. The brand has a long presence 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.

Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst

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