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Mitsubishi’s retailers are turning Japanese

Mitsubishi dealerships are to get a new corporate look – starting with the company’s own dealership at the head office in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Until now, dealers have had a degree of freedom to choose their own branding.

The dealerships will get new signage, carpets and showroom furniture, but won’t have to change their tiles. The design template is currently with Mitsubishi Europe, and when that is approved, within the next couple of months, the UK operation will conduct a survey with each dealership to get an idea of the scale of the work to be done.

Mitsubishi Motors UK sales director Lance Bradley says the new look will “have a clear Japanese feel”, giving commonality to the network.

“We are a Japanese company and should be proud of the heritage. The new design reflects that,” he says. “It’s a freshening up and a signal that new things are happening at Mitsubishi which customers can see as they drive past the showrooms.”

Commenting on the timing of the changes, Bradley adds: “Our first priority when the new management took over four years ago was to help our dealers become more profitable by making sure we had the right products at the right price, with acceptable margins.

“We’ve worked with them on sales and aftersales processes, and we are at the point now where most Mitsubishi dealers are profitable. With the launch of the new Colt, Outlander and Grandis MPV we believe it’s a reasonable time to say to the dealers, ‘everybody needs to look the same’.” To fund the programme,

Mitsubishi ran an incentive scheme for its dealers in the fourth quarter of last year. Everyone who hit their objectives – and all but two dealerships did – earned a grant towards the cost of the refurbishment. Most dealers will find they are able to cover the costs from within their grant, says Bradley.

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