The carmaker, which has been one of the most vociferous campaigners against grey imports, reversed its standpoint this year when it began training dealers to service and repair greys. In May, it announced plans to sell grey vehicles through the Red Zebra used car network.
The U-turn has been put down to a number of factors, including new personnel at importer Colt Cars and the effect of the Government's inquiry on new car prices. But John Rose, Mitsubishi Motors UK parts general manager, said the main reason was that “there are 33,000 grey or parallel Mitsubishi imports” in the UK.
A spokesman said Mitsubishi had to “tidy up the market” after the collapse of several grey importers. “We had to invest a lot of money and get the blessing of Mitsubishi Motors in Japan to supply these parts.”
He believed it was “imperative to fit genuine parts on imported vehicles” to counteract the growth in counterfeits. Mitsubishi is not insisting that dealers service or repair grey imports because “there is still an issue of product liability”. But they are expected to offer grey parts for sale.