Mitsubishi, HM strengthen bond

Japanese carmaker bullish after posting profits.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 06 Jul 2007 Views icon7366 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
The launch of the new premium sports utility vehicle Montero is expected to herald the beginning of a stronger relationship between Hindustan Motors and its strategic business ally Mitsubishi Motors of Japan. The launch of this vehicle priced at Rs 34.11 lakh has come at a time when the Japanese company has turned the corner after consistent losses since 2002-03.

“Mistubishi has come out of all trouble. For the full year (2006-07) they made clean profits and they have now a revitalisation plan that is on target. This year it will be a complete turnaround for the company. All their new products are doing well—Outlander, the new Lancer and the Montero. We literally had to plead for our share of the vehicle,” vice-president and business head of HM, YVS Vijay Kumar told Autocar Professional. Fiscal 2006 marked the first time Mitsubishi Motors has moved into the black at all levels (operating, ordinary and net profits) for the full financial year since fiscal 2002.

RENEWED FOCUS

With the launch of the new Montero, Kumar said Mitsubishi was very serious about India. “This is the right time to tap the Indian market. You will definitely see many more launches,” he added.

HM sold 250 units of the Montero in the last eight months in India. The new model will replace the existing one. To be directly imported, it will be marketed through the network of 35 Mitsubishi Motors dealerships across the country. GM (Asia & Asean, B Department) of Mitsubishi, Kazuyuki Kambayashi said that the time had come for his company to increase its product line in India. “We shall support HM in building dealer network. At this moment we have no plans to go into smaller cars,” he said.

“All the learning on performance, durability and safety from Mitsubishi’s continuous wins in Dakar rally and other gruelling rallies has been incorporated in the all-new Montero,” said HM’s managing director, R Santhanam.
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