Mitsubishi’s strong SUV line-up is largely responsible for its galloping growth in 2021, where its registrations at the end of September were up more than 100% on the same time last year.
The nameplate’s rapid rise has propelled it to No. 2 on the charts, a position it hasn’t held for yonks but one it expects to hang on to.
Motoring Industry Association (MIA) numbers show 15,028 new Mitsubishis had been logged at the end of September – 111% up on the 7117 recorded in nine months of 2020, when covid-19 lockdowns bit deep.
Mitsubishi’s elevation soars ahead of overall industry growth of 41% so far this year. It has sold around 3000 more vehicles than third-placed Ford, almost 7000 more than fourth-placed Kia, and upwards of 9000 more than one of its main rivals of yesteryear, Nissan. Toyota is No.1 with 20,468 registrations.
Mitsubishi’s Outlander and ASX are year-to-date the country’s best selling SUVs, the Outlander’s tally at 4280 and the ASX’s at 4113. Respectively, that’s 28.4% and 27.3% of overall Mitsubishi numbers.
Dial in 10.2% (1541 sales) for the Eclipse Cross SUV range, 25.3% (3811) for the Triton ute, and the four model lines account for 91.2% of Mitsubishi’s success in the most competitive new vehicle segments.
Outlander registrations have been dominated by the PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) variant, the country’s front runner. Mitsubishi unveiled the first PHEV Outlander late in 2013, when, at the end of September of that year, the company was seventh on the sales charts with 4549 vehicles for a 5.5% share of the market.
So far this year it has a 12% share, up from the 8% it held at the end of September in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Mitsubishi NZ’s marketing manager Reece Congdon said sales growth in the past nine months “speaks to our strength right across the range, as opposed to just PHEV dominance.
“Having the top selling PHEV range in the country is a massive string to our bow, but it’s the point that we offer value for money that has seen our rapid rise up the table,” he said.
“With the next-generation Outlander having just arrived and its PHEV variant (pictured at top) arriving in early 2022, we expect our strength across multiple segments to increase.”
The PHEV Outlander over the past eight years has been a pathfinder for Mitsubishi, forging an altogether new segment for plug-in SUVs.
For the past few years, 13 of the top 15 nameplates each month have been SUVs. That changed last month when the battery-electric Tesla Model 3 joined for the first time the Toyota Corolla and the Suzuki Swift as the only ‘cars’ in the 15.
The Model 3 in fact topped September’s new car list with 1066 registrations. The Mitsubishi Outlander was second with 963.
- September was the second highest month on MIA records, with 16,518 registrations.