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Aussie CEO defends tepid sixth-gen Triton

Mitsubishi defends catch-up Triton mechanicals as new ute lacks game-changing specs

1 Aug 2023

MITSUBISHI’S just-revealed sixth-generation Triton ute has launched larger, and with more technology and safety equipment than ever before – but look further and we find tweaked versions of the engine, transmission and four-wheel drive system found in the outgoing model that dates back to 2011.


Despite claims the Triton was benchmarked against rivals including the Ford Ranger (and therefore Volkswagen Amarok) and Toyota HiLux, the new model seems to have merely caught up with the pack rather than moving the game forward.


It offers less power and torque than those benchmark models, as-yet unqualified fuel consumption and emissions comparisons, and even an automatic transmission that is two ratios short of Mitsubishi’s current-generation, Triton-based, Pajero Sport SUV.


Speaking to GoAuto at the global reveal of the 2024 Mitsubishi Triton in Bangkok, Thailand, last week, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) CEO Shaun Westcott said he believes the model is “going to do the job”.


“I suppose it has caught up to where the market is,” he said.


“Firstly, it addresses our core market, our target market, and their needs and requirements … and it is a significant step up over the last one on every aspect, whether it’s dimensions, size, kilowatts, Newton metres of torque, or payload.


“And while we haven’t presented the final specifications yet, the spec list makes comparisons with some of the competitors (in the segment) in quite a few areas. We have the technology and the size – and other benefits – over our competitors.


“We think it’s going to stack up – we think it’s going to do the job.”


Asked whether Australian buyers will share his view, Mr Westcott defended the Triton’s adequate advancements as part of an offering he believes is right for the level at which the Triton competes, saying that the model range will be priced to ensure it maintains its position within the highly competitive one-tonne ute market.


“We’ve had, with the current generation Triton, a consistent third place in the market. This vehicle is significantly better than the current range of Triton, which despite its age and supply constraints is still the third best-selling vehicle in its class,” he explained.


“Cost mitigates (the position of the Triton in the market) to some degree, and you’ll have noticed that over the last two or three years the price of the Triton has been climbing, albeit not as much as the competitors; and we’ve been able to sustain those price levels which tells us that the customer is seeing the value in the vehicle.”


Mr Westcott said that the increase in specification offered in the new Triton means it will not be offered at the same price as the outgoing model, but said he believes it can remain competitive, even as the market faces more pressure from well-specified Chinese competitors, and forthcoming models like the Kia Tasman.


“The new one will be more expensive. We have significantly improved the vehicle, and the calibre and quality of our car demonstrates that we are able to maintain a better price in the market,” he said.


“But there is more value in the car. There is more spec in the car. So, there will be a price step up over the current generation. But let’s see what the market tells us. We think it can sustain a much stronger price.


“At the moment, I can’t tell you if the Triton will be priced below its rivals, and I won’t be able to give you that detail until closer to the local launch in February.”


The current (MY23) Mitsubishi Triton 4x4 line-up is priced from $37,490 plus on-road costs, which makes it significantly cheaper than the vehicle’s benchmarked rivals – the entry-grade Ford Ranger XL single-cab (from $47,280 + ORC), Toyota HiLux Workmate single-cab (from $40,405 + ORC) and Volkswagen Amarok TDI405 Core dual-cab (from $50,990 + ORC).


We keenly await the announcement of the Triton’s local pricing and specification to indeed see if the model “stacks up”.

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