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Please support us, says Mitsu

No four: The 380 sedan is unlikely to be a four-cylinder proposition, for now.

Mitsubishi Motors president says Adelaide is safe, but more sales are needed

3 Oct 2006


MITSUBISHI Motors president Osamu Masuko gave a resounding vote of support for its Australian subsidiary at the Paris motor show last Thursday (September 28), but says no further price reductions will be offered to prop up sales of its 380 sedan.

Mr Masuko said that, unlike the 380’s sales performance, he was happy with the company’s imported vehicle sales in Australia, and that there was no deadline for Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited to lift the popularity of its locally-built 380 sedan.

"Imported volume is okay - going up," he told GoAuto. "But Australian-made car sales we are not happy with. Sales of (the) Australian-made car are not so good, because our engine is a bit bigger - 3.8-litre.

"(If) Australian people buy our cars more and more, we can easily continue our production plans. We will try harder to sell more cars. Now we don’t have any plan to stop production in Australia. We would like to try our best to continue production in Australia.

"We don’t have a timeline, and there is no plan," he said.

Mr Masuko was dismissive when asked if further price reductions were planned for the 380, and whether work had begun to develop its replacement.

"We have already had a price reduction. Last October we just started production of 380 - only one year. Every year we cannot change the model … 380 is a new model so please support us," he said.

MMC chief since January 2005, Mr Masuko said the company was yet to decide if any form of 380 exports to Proton in Malaysia were viable, including a 2.4-litre four-cylinder version (see separate story). "No, no, no change. Still we are studying," he said.

He poured cold water on suggestions of a second model line for MMAL’s Tonsley Park assembly plant, such as an Australian-built Pajero, in an effort to boost production beyond its current rate – which stands at just 35 per cent of capacity.

"Even if we were to do another car the production volume is very small," said Mr Masuko. "Now we don’t have such an idea - we produce Pajero in Japan. We concentrate on 380."

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