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Competition prompts Mitsubishi Triton push

Top seller: The Triton is easily Mitsubishi's best-selling model in Australia, followed by the ASX compact SUV.

Mitsubishi transitions aggressive sales plan to new-generation Triton ute

Mitsubishi logo4 Dec 2015

By STUART MARTIN

MITSUBISHI says fierce competition in the light-commercial-vehicle is forcing the company to continue retail offers for its new-generation Triton pick-up.

The latest version of the company's top seller arrived in showrooms in April, but it has been selling alongside run-out versions of the outgoing model until they recently sold out.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited executive director of marketing Tony Principe said the brand had discounts on the model now because of the aggressive nature of the segment, adding that the company “can't just sit around and twiddle our thumbs”.

“We've introduced a 300,000 unit celebration sale. It gets back to our over-ordering old Triton late last year. We haven't had to do much to sell that car as it was priced so well, we've only just finished running that out and hadn't put much effort behind the new one,” he said.

“We're reacting to the market and Nissan and Holden offering deals. We've gone to the $36,990 price-point which is where everyone seems to be sitting and trying to wrap it up in a '300,000 sales' mechanism.”

The change from run-out Triton to the new-look Mitsubishi ute has prompted a hiccup in the Japanese brand's sales figures.

As the year closes in on a record 1.1 million vehicle sales, Mitsubishi's hopes of growth are firmly attached to the SUV-centric market but its light-commercial-vehicle sales took a hit last month.

The slip in Triton sales took some of the wind out of the Mitsubishi sales momentum, with a 9.1 per cent rate of sales growth to the end of October dropping to five per cent after a lacklustre November.

The overall market grew by 6.9 per cent but the three-diamond brand took a 26.9 per cent hit compared with November last year, although it remains five per cent ahead of its year-to-date 2014 performance with 64,243 sales.

Triton four-wheel-drive sales remain up by 13 per cent in YTD terms but last month slumped by 43.8 per cent compared with the same month in 2014, while the new Toyota HiLux, Ford’s new Ranger, the Isuzu D-Max, Holden’s Colorado and Nissan’s Navara all had strong November sales on the back of new model arrivals or retail campaigns.

The Mitsubishi remains in third spot for overall 4WD pick-up sales behind the resurgent HiLux and revamped Ranger, which have both passed the 20,000 sales mark, with 23,611 and 21,119 sales respectively.

The recent launch of the eighth-generation HiLux range pushed the model to its best November in six years, while the Ranger is Ford's top seller, almost tripling Territory sales and selling almost four times the number of Falcons so far this year.

In 4x2 sales the HiLux has also retained top spot ahead of the Ranger, but the Triton still faces solid competition from the Mazda BT-50 (which is in third position overall) with 4522 sales, as well as 4464 Holden Commodore Utes, all of which has pushed the Triton into fifth position with 4195 units sold.

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