TOKYO – Mitsubishi Motors Corp. plans to double the number of dealerships in China and more than double sales there to 220,000 units by 2020, a central part of the “DRIVE FOR GROWTH” plan announced on October 18.
The three-year strategic plan is targeting an increase of more than 30 percent in both annual sales to 1.3 million vehicles and in revenues to 2.5 trillion yen. Mitsubishi Motors also aims to achieve an operating profit margin of 6 percent or more by the end of fiscal 2019 (which ends on March 31, 2020), up from 0.3 percent in fiscal 2016. Annual capital expenditure is expected to increase 60 percent to 137 billion yen in fiscal 2019 while R&D expenses will rise by 50 percent by 133 billion yen over the same period. It also plans to launch 11 models including the XPANDER and Eclipse Cross, a product renewal program coinciding with a market expansion drive in the ASEAN region, Oceania, the U.S., China and Japan.
In China, where Mitsubishi Motors just celebrated the fifth anniversary of the GAC-Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (GMMC) joint venture five days earlier, the company aims to double the number of dealerships from the current 200 to 400 and more than double sales from 88,000 units in fiscal 2016 to 220,000 units in fiscal 2019, and eventually to 300,000 units annually in the early 2020s.
Growth in China will be a driving force for the global expansion of Mitsubishi Motors, according to CEO Osamu Masuko. Over the three years of the plan from 2017, GMMC plans to broaden its offering of SUVs in China by adding the Eclipse Cross and begin local engine production.
“We have already seen successes at GMMC over the last five years with the sales of the Outlander steadily increasing,” said Masuko. “We plan to make further investments in China, expanding its sales network and strengthening its current product lineup, showcasing ourselves as a carmaker that excels in the SUV market.”
GMMC, based in Changsha, Hunan Province, is on track to sell more than 100,000 vehicles after sales tripled to more than 80,000 units over the first nine months of 2017.