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January 31, 2018

Mitsubishi climbs back past 100,000 US sales

Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) said its US sales in 2017 rose 8% year on year to 104,000, the first time the company has passed 100,000 units since 2007.

Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) said its US sales in 2017 rose 8% year on year to 104,000, the first time the company has passed 100,000 units since 2007.

According to just-auto's US analyst, the actual total was 103,686 vehicles, up 7.7% from 2016's 96,267 sales. The US light vehicle market overall fell by 1.8% to 17,245,866 units in 2017. Only Maserati (9.3%), Jaguar Land Rover (8.8%) posted higher growth than MMC last year.

As noted by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance in its 2017 sales report (a 6.5% rise to 10,608,366 units worldwide), MMC's strong ASEAN business also contributed well to its 2017 growth of 10% to 1,030,454.

Boosted by the launch of the Xpander compact multi-purpose vehicle in Indonesia, volume there, where the automaker opened a new assembly plant last year, grew 19% to 80,000.

Other strong performances came from Thailand (up 26% to 70,000), the Philippines (+20% to 71,000) and Australia (+10% to 81,000, though the company is about to drop the Lancer sedan from its local model line). MMC claims market share of over 5% in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia.

ASEAN 2017 sales grew 17% to 242,000.

Here in Europe, sales in Germany increased 16% to 45,000. Recovery of the Russian economy (and local assembly of some models) helped boost MMC's 2017 sales there 45% to 24,000. In contrast, UAE sales fell 18% to 24,000 partly, MMC said, because of regional tensions.

Worldwide, MMC sold 1,030,000 vehicles last year, up from 934,000 in 2016.

It said the final quarter was particularly strong with retail volume of 279,000, up 18%.

Sales in China rose 56% to 129,000, and it became the group's largest market thanks to the strong demand for the locally assembled Outlander.

Japanese sales rose 7% to 92,000 in the calendar year as the marketing of kei-cars resumed after the fuel economy 'mis-statement' scandal-driven interruption of 2016.

MMC COO Trevor Mann said: "Mitsubishi Motors had a good 2017, with strong performances led by our businesses in China and the ASEAN region. It was also encouraging to see our domestic business in Japan take its first steps on the road to recovery."

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