In a move highlighting the growing significance of the Russian car market, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), Mitsubishi Motors Europe B.V. (MME) and Rolf Holding, their Russia distributor, have agreed to make Russia a stand-alone business region.

Russia will no longer be integrated into MME's sales & marketing territory. Russia will therefore report directly to MMC.

Mitsubishi sales in Russia have risen from a mere 109 cars sold in 1992 to 68,919 for CY 2006.

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.

"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 added: " This wholly appropriate decision will allow MME to concentrate upon strengthening our performance in Europe which we are looking forward to doing that with the progressive launch of the all-new Lancer from late 2007 into 2008."