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Mirage safe for now, says Mitsubishi

Staying on: Despite slowing sales, Mitsubishi will stick with the Mirage hatch, and the company might even give it a marketing boost when Lancer stock dries up.

Mitsubishi Mirage destined to live on into the next generation

Mitsubishi logo10 Apr 2017

By TIM ROBSON

MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) will persist with the Mirage micro car into the next generation, despite softening interest in the sector.

Currently it sits second the micro field for the year with 573 sales, behind the strong starting Kia Picanto at 825 and in front of the Holden Spark which sits on 278 as of the end of March.

A poor March result saw it drop 79 per cent over March 2016 to record just 50 sales, the result of supply chain issues.

Launched in 2012, MMAL axed the slow selling sedan version of the Mirage at the end of 2016.

MMAL director of sales Tony Principe told GoAuto that the diminutive hatch is likely to be retained for the Australian operation, and that the company had received no indication to the contrary.

“They're (Mitsubishi Motor Corporation) saying that’s one of the required properties in their range,” he said at the launch of the updated Outlander PHEV in Adelaide. “From the global perspective, there’s no indication that they’re going to do anything other than keep it going into the new generation.”

There is no indication of when the Mirage is likely to be replaced future product planning is under the spotlight across the company after the merger with the Renault-Nissan Alliance late in 2016.

Mr Principe pointed out that soft sales in some markets was not necessarily an indicator of how the car is received in other markets.

“From our perspective, priorities are obviously on LCV and SUV (models), but in other markets the light cars are still booming, so they’re not going to chuck it because Australia isn’t selling huge numbers,” he said.

He also revealed the Mirage serves a useful role in jump-starting a potentially slow sales month.

“It’s actually one of those cars that’s handy for us. If we can’t get enough Outlanders or ASXs out in our production cycle, for example, we can grab a few Mirages and give that a bit of a shake that month,” he said.

“In the end the dealers need cars to sell. If you want to grow your volume, you really need to try playing as many segments as possible. In the end, the less segments you’re in, you’re relying more on each model being number one. You can never guarantee that so, you’ve got to try and have a bit of a spread to protect your holdings.”

Mr Principe revealed that the Lancer – a car that is over a decade old – is also used when supplies of MMAL’s best sellers like the ASX and Outlander are in short supply.

“It’s another one that we use as a bit of a pinch hit,” he revealed. “If we can’t get some ASXs and Outlanders, we say okay, can we get that plant over there who’s got any capacity to do some of them. It’s better than nothing.”

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