Mitsubishi feels very lost as a company since famously killing off their hero product, the Lancer Evolution X. Ironically, Mitsubishi was actually early in the experimentation to move to EV and the associated performance but just couldn’t get the project built.
Instead the company launched it fully electric iMiev which was full of compromises and failed to iterate to respond to concerns regarding range and recharge locations in Australia.
The current plan seems to be to follow the market of SUV sales and offer plug-in hybrids like the Outlander PHEV. This will never be the visionary move to full EV powertrains that could have seen the company lead the industry into electrification. The Evo Miev was a 4 door saloon with great looks and 4x 50kW in wheel electric motors. This is the same approach to power delivery as the EV Supercar, the Rimac Concept One (the one Richard Hammond recently crashed), thing is, Mitsubishi was working on it more than 10 years ago, but sadly never made it.
Moving on, Mitsubishi are trying a new concept for show rooms. The Geelong dealer group Kings Cars has partnered with Mitsubishi to open an interactive vehicle concept showroom in Westfield Geelong.
This new pilot store, which opened today, allows customers access new vehicle information in a new way, without the pressure created by the traditional automotive retail environment. The Geelong Westfield showroom allows customers to research the full range of Mitsubishi cars, via an interactive vehicle showroom, experience vehicles in Virtual Reality or test drive them via dedicated parking bays located near the showroom. Existing owners can even choose to have their vehicle maintained and serviced while they shop.
Mitsubishi Motors Australia CEO, John Signoriello, joined the owners Peter and Angela King to open the new showroom and commented,
This is an exciting new direction which will give us the opportunity to explore new ways of interacting with Customers.
We didn’t want to recreate a dealership experience in a shopping centre, we wanted to hand the reigns to the customer to give them the control to research, browse, test drive and even service their car in an environment that fits their needs. Our showroom facilitators are not paid on commission, they are simply there to help the Customers and we will continue to measure our success by one simple rule – the Customer must be satisfied,” said Mr King.
This new concept show room is hardly going to revolutionise the brand or the car buying experience. Most companies understand now that Australian buyers are among the most informed and educated in the world. With one of the highest nameplate counts across the globe, we have to be. This means the role of the retail environment for vehicle shopping is all but redundant in 2017, thanks to product information being prolific through the company, or comparison websites.