Saturday, April 28, 2007

MMC designates Russia a stand-alone business region

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MITSUBISHI MOTORS designates Russia a stand-alone business region

Amsterdam, April 27th, 2007 - Fifteen successful years after their first venture in 1992, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), Mitsubishi Motors Europe B.V. (MME) and Rolf Holding, their Russia distributor, have agreed to make this promising market a stand-alone business region. No longer integrated into MME's sales & marketing territory, Russia will therefore report directly to MMC.

A pioneer in the Russian market since the early 90’s, Mitsubishi Motors was one of the first to recognize the long-term potential this vast country could offer. Today, turning Russia into a region marks a further pioneering step, ahead of all other manufacturers present in this country.

This bold move also signals MMC’s will to identify and exploit fast emerging markets - where the quality and integrity of its products are definitive assets for local customers.

Number One
Considered right from the start by all parties as a long-term possibility, this decision is the logical conclusion of years of market observation where de facto, Russia and Europe have proved to be very different markets.

It also acknowledges the remarkable work done in this vast and challenging country by Rolf Holding over the last 14 years, starting with a mere 109 cars sold in 1992 to 68,919 for CY 2006.

In this growing and maturing market (economic growth, increase in disposable income, credit-based purchased coming on stream, etc,…), Rolf Holding had sold more than 215,000 Mitsubishis between 1992 and 2006.

Supported by the success of Lancer with upwardly mobile Russian customers, Rolf brought Mitsubishi Motors the “Russia Superbrand 2006” award with Lancer becoming Number One built-up imported car in this country and the Russian “Car of The Year 2006”, both titles won for the second year in a row.

In this respect, customer satisfaction from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean was a key success factor, demonstrated daily throughout Rolf’s 88 strong dealer network (including “ROLF YUG”, Mitsubishi Motors’ largest dealer center worldwide, located in Moscow and selling nearly 4,000 cars a year !) covering 64 major cities of the country.

Mitsubishi Motors’ growth was also provided through Rolf Holding’s long term strategy and professional sales / marketing / distribution organization, itself backed by a skilled network (with strong bases in Moscow and St Petersburg) and supported by a full integration of the distribution chain, including transport and logistics of cars and parts throughout this immense territory.

Today, with the high(er) volumes at stake, as well as Russia’s product specifics very different from Europe’s (Euro 3 vs. Euro 4, C & D-segment petrol-powered 4-door sedans vs. Diesel B & C-segment 5-door hatchbacks,...) time has come to implement this plan.

Carefully prepared for some time by the three parties, the gradual split from Mitsubishi Motors Europe started on April 1st, 2007, at the beginning of the new fiscal year and will be supported by a team a specialists at MMC.

Commenting on this decision, Tim Tozer, President & CEO – MME said: “In my time at MME, I have taken delight in working with Rolf to grow sales from 30,000 units in CY 2004 to 70,000 units in CY 2006.” Elaborating, he said: “The strategic requirements to develop the our presence in Russia are now very different in product and business terms when compared to Western and Central Europe and as a result, better suited to MMC’s direct management of this market”. He concluded: “ This wholly appropriate decision will allow MME to concentrate upon strengthening our performance in Europe which we are looking forward to doing with the progressive launch of the all-new Lancer from late 2007 into 2008.”

-Mitsubishi Motors

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mitsubishi Evo X Production model unveiled in Japan

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Mitsubishi Motors announces The names of two models due for Japan domestic market release this fall

—"GALANT FORTIS" sedan & "LANCER EVOLUTION X" high-performance 4WD sedan—

Tokyo, 26 April, 2007 — Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has announced the names of two new models. The U.S.-market Lancer will be renamed "GALANT FORTIS" for the Japan domestic market. Also, Mitsubishi's rally-inspired, high-performance 4WD sedan will carry the name "LANCER EVOLUTION X".

The development concept for the new Galant Fortis1 calls for a "new-generation global sedan with world-class levels of safety, environmental performance and comfort". Distinguishing features include: a high-rigidity platform that delivers excellent crashworthiness; a new 2-liter engine with aluminum cylinder block that delivers high power output and returns excellent fuel efficiency; exterior styling that imparts a broad stance and sporty lines; and a spacious, well-appointed cabin.

The development concept for the all-new Lancer Evolution X2 specifies a "new-generation high-performance 4WD global sedan that allows all levels of driver to enjoy the car's speed and handling with ease and in safety". The new model features Mitsubishi's S-AWC3 traction and handling system, that integrates the control of drive torque and braking management with the four-wheel drive system to help realize highly responsive and intuitive handling in addition to outstanding vehicle attitude stability. Other examples of Mitsubishi Motors' latest automotive technology to be featured in the new model include a new lightweight and high-performance 2.0-liter turbocharged MIVEC4 engine with aluminum cylinder block and a 6-speed automated manual transmission that contributes to exceptional performance with improved fuel economy. The performance-driven design makes the car's extreme potential clear, while cockpit design focuses the driver's attention on operating his machine.

1 Latin for strong, steadfast, courageous.
2 "X" ("Ten") stands for the tenth iteration of the Lancer Evolution released on the Japan domestic market. (In other markets the car will be called "LANCER EVOLUTION".)
3 Super All Wheel Control
4 Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and lift Electronic Control System: Mitsubishi Motors variable valve system

Mitsubishi Galant Fortis

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

Note for UK Readers:

Galant Fortis/Lancer:
Naming Strategy: The Galant Fortis is the naming strategy for Japan only. This model will be named Lancer in Europe.
Styling: Lancer 4-door exterior styling for Europe will be much more dynamic and sports-inspired
Launch: European production debut to happen at Frankfurt Motor Show in September with European on-sale from December 2007. UK launch expected 1st March 2008 along with Lancer Evolution X. Lancer 5-door launch to follow in September.

Lancer Evolution X
Launch: Global production debut to happen at Frankfurt Motor Show. UK launch set for 1st March 2008.

-Mitsubishi Motors

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mitsubishi Motors to Bring Forward Market Introduction of Next-generation Diesel Car Engine

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Mitsubishi Motors to Bring Forward Market Introduction of Next-generation Diesel Car Engine

Tokyo, April 19, 2007 — Mitsubishi Motors Corporation announced today that it is to bring forward the introduction of a next-generation 2.0-liter class diesel engine to the European market where demand for such engines is growing. Currently under development, the new diesel engine is to go into production at the Kyoto Powertrain Plant in early 2009, one year earlier than scheduled and following its introduction in Europe will be phased into other markets.

Being developed jointly with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the new diesel engine is a key element in Mitsubishi Motors' efforts to lower CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. Features contributing to the new engine's class-topping power output and Euro 5* emissions performance include a new high-efficiency turbocharger and high-efficiency combustion characteristics that stem from the application of own analytic technology of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Motors.

The new diesel engine is positioned, alongside its electric vehicle technology, as a core element in the "Mitsubishi Motors Environment Initiative Program 2010" ("EIP 2010"). Bringing forward the market introduction of this next-generation diesel engine will allow the company to meet the needs of the growing number of environment-conscious customers.

*Emission standards due to come into force in Europe in 2009. Euro 5 standards feature tighter regulation of particulate matter and NOx emissions than the current Euro 4.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gigi Galli will not compete in Argentina, halts 07 program

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18/04/07 - Gigi Galli and Aimont Racing Team stopped their program in the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship

Gigi Galli and Aimont Racing Team have decided not to compete in Rally Argentina, also due to the high costs of this race and to stop, for the moment, the program they got ready for the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship.

The decision has been taken today, after careful assessment by the driver and the team, because it hasn’t been reached the agreement with an important sponsor that would have supported the driver and the team in the next races.
Gigi Galli and Aimont Racing Team are grateful to Citroen Sport and PH Sport for their support in the races disputed so far and also to Pirelli and the Italian Federation ACI CSAI for their important contribution.
“I’m really sorry we have been obliged to suspend the program”, said Gigi Galli “Unfortunately we had no other choice at the moment. I thank Pirelli that has supported me and also ACI CSAI that gave a contribution to this program as well as Livigno and Valtellina. I’m sorry not to compete in Rally Argentina a race I’m fond of and I like a lot, also because of the podium place obtained there last year. I’d like to thank the organizers that tried to help me when they heard I was not going to compete there”.

“Unfortunately our sport depends on budget” - Gigi continues - “Because of this lack of support we cannot go on with our program and we regret we could not find any remedy. We are sorry mostly for all the people who follow us and wait during the special stages. This is what we regret most!

I wish to thank all the partners who helped me in creating this program. I also thank all my fans for their constant support”.

“Unfortunately, due to budget problems, we have been obliged to stop the program” said Pierfrancesco Zanchi, Aimont Racing Team manager “An important sponsor on which we counted, at last turned down its interest. I would like to thank personally all the partners that made this project feasible so far and in particularly Citroen Sport, PH Sport, Pirelli and the Italian Federation ACI CSAI”.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Aava for Mitsubishi

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Twenty-eight year old Estonian Urmo Aava, currently lying second in the FIA's Junior Rally Championship, is to drive a Mitsubishi Lancer World Rally Car on world championship events, which do not clash with his current Suzuki Junior commitments.

The latest specification Mitsubishi is to be used on the Acropolis Rally, Neste Oil Rally Finland, Rally New Zealand and Wales Rally GB, as well as a national event in his own country. Of the world rally events, only Finland will count as a Junior event, and this is the one he had already opted to miss.

Aava started his rally career in 1979 at the wheel of a Lada Samara in Estonia. His first venture into the WRC was in Finland in 2002. His greatest achievement so far was to finish second in the Junior series in 2006, only beaten to the title because of a misunderstanding with the authorities in Finland about the rules regarding rally fireproof clothing.

Following the retirement from the sport of Markko Martin, Urmo is nowadays the number one rally driver in his country.