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Mitsubishi grows network to cope with sales boom

Mitsubishi UK is planning a significant expansion of its retail network over the next 18 months in readiness for the introduction of its all-new supermini, known internally as the Z-car. Director of sales and marketing Paul Williams says Mitsubishi aims to increase the number of UK retail outlets from 132 to 140 by the end of this year, and to 150 by the end of 2003, just as the Z-car reaches the UK market.

The expansion comes as Mitsubishi's UK sales have grown 22 per cent to about 20,000 units over the past 12 months, mainly on the back of strong sales of the L200 pick-up, which are running at about 700 units a month. Williams says the company is on track to retail 25,000 units this year.

“Our dealers are selling 75 per cent more cars than they did two years ago,” says Williams, who adds average returns have gone from break-even three years ago to two per cent in the first quarter this year. “More importantly, they're selling to more retail customers.”

Williams says the recently facelifted Space Star, which will be available with a turbodiesel for the first time from July 1, will be an increasingly important product for the Mitsubishi network as it gets ready for the Z-car.

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