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Mitsubishi deals out fleet lessons

Date: 28 August 2014   |   Author:

Mitsubishi has moved to improve the business car driver's experience at its dealerships following an explosion of interest in its new Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid launched earlier this summer.

The firm ordered 1500 from Japan cars for 2014, but that has been revised, more than once, to now stand at 7500 cars, with Mitsubishi's UK boss Lance Bradley predicting that the final figure for 2014 should hit 10,000.  That compares with the 2000 diesel Outlanders the firm registered last year.

So far, a quarter of registrations have been from the corporate sector, a figure that Bradley expects to rise to around 50% by the end of the year.

"I'm actually very pleasantly surprised that we are at a quarter to fleet from a standing start," he told BusinessCar.

The company has set in place a company car charter for its dealer network, with more than 100 of the 120 UK dealers signed up. As well as a fleet specialist and specific extra demonstration PHEV, dealers signed up to the charter attend a training seminar to address what they need to understand about corporate drivers.
"Just after we launched the car I started to get contact from company car drivers saying they didn't get a very good experience when they went to a dealership as a company driver," revealed Bradley. "It was just a lack of understanding about who these customers were and how to handle them - we suddenly had a group of customers going in that our dealers weren't used to, so why would they understand?"

"It's not difficult - they are 90% the same as retail," he continued. "The company car charter is nothing complicated because there's nothing complicated about company car drivers."

Mitsubishi said the Outlander plug-in is opening new fleet opportunities for the brand.

"Every one of our products is up [in terms of sales] - there is so much attention around the PHEV that it's creating more interest in the other models," continued Bradley. "It's a case of getting into companies we never have before and selling more L200, Shogun, ASX and Mirage models."

Bradley admitted that it's virgin territory for the brand: "We've never been big in the fleet market - we've sold a few L200s, and certainly not in the company car market often dominated by premium German brands."