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Mitsubishi saloon Lancer launches, but hatchback is key

Date: 29 February 2008

Mitsubishi's new Lancer saloon has hit UK showrooms, but the firm reckons the big corporate interest is still to follow when the five-door hatch and hot 240PS Ralliart versions arrive in September.

The Japanese company thinks three markets will hold the key to the new Lancer's corporate sector potential - small local businesses, user-choosers and the police.

"We don't go chasing huge fleet deals and we won't with this car, but it gives us something to talk to fleets about," said Mitsubishi sales and marketing director Lance Bradley. "In the business market there won't be thousands of customers that instantly switch over, but there will be some that want something a bit different."

The brand won't look for any serious corporate volume until the five-door follows the saloon in September, with the latter likely to account for 80% of the volume, according to Bradley.

New in-house developed diesel engines and a new, smaller off-roader are also due in the next 18 months.