Mitsubishi Australia celebrates 40th birthday with 10-year warranty

Mitsubishi Australia celebrates 40th birthday with 10-year warranty

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Japanese car-maker marks four decades since it became a brand Down Under by introducing Australia's first 10-year warranty

Mitsubishi Motors Australia is celebrating its 40th birthday today by launching the local automotive industry's first 10-year warranty.

Marking four decades since it set up shop as a brand in its own right Down Under in 1980, Mitsubishi's new Diamond Advantage Program applies to all new vehicles sold as of today (October 1).

The 10-year/200,000km factory warranty for all new vehicles in the Mitsubishi range is accompanied by a 10-year/150,000km capped-price service program and four years of roadside assistance, and is transferable to subsequent owners.

Mitsubishi was among the pioneers with a five-year warranty and previously offered seven-year warranties on selected vehicles, but its new industry-first decade-long warranty now tops the seven-year/unlimited-km warranties offered by Haval, Kia, SsangYong and MG.

However, along with the mileage limit, it only applies to private buyers and businesses with less than five vehicles, and only if they service their vehicle at a Mitsubishi dealer. Otherwise the warranty reverts to the car-maker's standard five-year/100,000km aftersales cover.

“This new 10-year extended warranty puts owners in control," said Mitsubishi Motors Australia's director of marketing and operations, Rob Nazzari. "Every Mitsubishi already has at least a five-year warranty. Now, with our 10-year Diamond Advantage program, owners that complete their scheduled capped-price services with an authorised Mitsubishi Dealer will enjoy a 10-year warranty, 10-year capped price servicing and up to four years of roadside assistance.”

As part of its 40th anniversary, Mitsubishi Australia is also planning several community events across the country to thank its owners, dealers and staff, and has released a number of historical images and video from its archive.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation formed a partnership to purchase the Chrysler Valiant plant in Adelaide precisely 40 years ago on October 1, 1980.

However, the Mitsubishi name was seen on cars imported to Australia by Chrysler as early as 1964, including models like the Mitsubishi Colt, Lancer and Galant.

But it was the venerable Magna that really put Mitsubishi on the automotive map in Australia.

Replacing the popular but decade-old Chrysler Sigma and based on Mitsubishi’s fifth-generation front-drive Galant, the original TM four-cylinder Magna sedan of 1985 and the wagon that followed in 1987 found 200,000 homes in the first five years.

The Mitsubishi Magna went on to span three generations over 20 years – including the upmarket Verada variant and the Diamante export version for the US and other markets – until 2005.

The Mitsubishi 380 sedan that followed was a great car launched at the wrong time, notching up just over 30,000 sales over three years until 2008, when Mitsubishi closed its Tonsley Park plant in Adelaide and became a full-line importer.

Including imports, Mitsubishi Australia has sold about 2.7 million vehicles since October 1980, averaging 63,000 per annum in the 1980s, 68,000 in the 1990s, 63,000 between 2000 and 2010, and 71,000 since 2010.

However, in the past five years since 2015, its average annual sales rate has spiked to 77,000, largely on the back of popular models like the ASX small SUV and Triton ute.

The Triton is now the third most popular ute in a market dominated by commercial vehicles and SUVs, propelling Mitsubishi to fourth on the sales charts behind Toyota, Mazda and Hyundai – and ahead of one-time rivals Ford and the now-defunct Holden.

Mitsubishi’s national dealer network has followed suit. In 1980, led by Naomu Ichikawa as president and Andy Anderson as managing director, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) started with 24 dealerships.

Forty years later, after many Chrysler dealers became Mitsubishi dealers, the brand has a 183-strong national dealership network.

During that time Mitsubishi Australia has also played a role in vehicle development, not just for the Magna and 380, and its proprietary SuperSelect II 4WD and S-AWC systems have been tested Down Under in what MMAL’s first chief engineer, Mike Stacy, called “the biggest proving ground available – Australia”.

“Over the years, our products and dealerships have certainly changed. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to Australia – it is as firm now as it was on October 1, 1980,” said MMAL CEO Shaun Westcott.

“Forty years is an incredible achievement and I’d like to acknowledge all of those who have contributed to that success.

“The future will continue to be what we make of it. And Mitsubishi Motors is exploring technologies that I am confident will change how we live for the next 40 years – and more.”

Over the past 40 years Mitsubishi has earned itself a reputation for engineering and technology via models like the pioneering Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid), which will be updated this month, followed by a facelifted Eclipse Cross in November and an all-new Outlander in 2021.

Mitsubishi Australia will also open its new Australian headquarters in the Adelaide Airport business precinct in early 2021, and Westcott said the next step in its technology rollout may not be far away.

“Mitsubishi’s mobility technologies have the potential to change how we think. Imagine your petrol station on your roof and your home battery on wheels. This is the promise of PHEV vehicles and Dendo Drive House technology.

“This technology is not so far away – it launched in Japan last year, and there is a feasibility study for this technology in Australia this year.”

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