Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada has announced it will start operations in September, six months ahead of the scheduled date.

Greg O’Neill, executive vice president and general manager of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc. made the announcement at at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

He said: “We expect a very quick ramp-up because we are launching with all nine of our products. We are going to offer Canadians a new spirited choice of vehicles.”

The vehicles are expected to be available through a growing dealership network next September rather than February 2003, as originally planned.

More than 30 Canadian dealers have already been selected from a target of 51 dealers to be established in Canada in the first year of operations.

By 2007, the network in Canada is expected to grow to 150 dealers. The provinces covered by the first 30 include: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Saskatchewan.

Randy Sears who was recently promoted from vice-president to president of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, said the company anticipates a first-year sales volume of at least 20,000 vehicles in 2003, rising to at least 37,000 in 2007.