Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) is holding its own in a market that is slowly starting to show some green shoots, despite still being severely depressed following 12 months of COVID-19 restrictions.
“Continued customer interest in our diverse range proves that we are getting the mix right in terms of our model derivatives and our target markets,” says Nic Campbell, General Manager of MMSA.
Weighing in in the highly competitive compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment, the striking Eclipse Cross is the jewel in MMSA’s sales crown. It combines the latest styling with impressive driving dynamics and intuitive safety technology, making it a very attractive option for buyers who value practicality, but also appreciate a one-of-a-kind driving experience.
“Of the three Eclipse Cross models on offer, the 1.5-litre version with its CVT is the most popular,” Campbell explains. “This is thanks, to a large extent, to the punchy turbocharged engine, which develops 110 kW of power at 5 500 r/min and 250 Nm of peak torque at 3 500 r/min.”
Coupled to this powerplant, the continuous variable transmission – or CVT – with its eight-step sports mode as found on this particular Eclipse Cross model, delivers effortless acceleration from any speed, slicker gear changes and a smoother ride. Keeping the engine at optimum performance at all times, the CVT provides improved fuel efficiency and low emissions.
“South Africa is bakkie country, so it goes without saying that the Triton also plays a significant part in boosting Mitsubishi sales,” says Campbell.
Here it is the 2.4-litre 4x4 model with six-speed manual transmission that seems to have stolen the hearts of local buyers.
“The bold Triton is engineered beyond tough. Whether you need the practicality of a dedicated workhorse or the luxury and versatility of an SUV, the Triton’s combination of super-responsive, smooth and powerful performance, silky transmission and passenger-friendly features is exactly what buyers in this segment require,” Campbell enthuses.
With the option of full-time 4WD, high and low range with centre diff lock and selectable 2WD, the Super Select 4WD II system on the Triton ensures more control in bad weather or on difficult surfaces. This advanced system allows the driver to switch between 2WD and 4WD modes at speeds of up to 100 km/h.
“Another one of our sales stars is the ASX, specifically the 2.0 CVT model. Targeted at young families, and branded as a youthful, urbanised SUV, it has all the benefits of a compact SUV. It has a spacious interior, a roomy boot and extra height, but also boasts the nimble manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency of a smaller car,” Campbell continued. “Add to that appealing styling, good performance and plenty of space and it’s easy to see how the ASX manages to hold its own against other offerings in the market.”
As a family vehicle, the ASX comes standard with Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC), Hill Start Assist and seven airbags. ABS and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) also form part of a package that offers real value for money.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Pajero Sport. With three models available locally, the 2.4 4x4 model with its advanced eight-speed automatic transmission is the clear consumer favourite.
“Frankly, I’m not surprised that buyers so taken with this particular Pajero Sport derivative,” says Campbell. “Mitsubishi’s advanced Super Select 4WD II system is among the best in the world and our brand ambassador, 4x4 guru Francois Rossouw has described the eight-speed automatic transmission as being as smooth as a banana peel on ice.”
“We have a solid reputation for being able to identify demands and shaping our new vehicle strategy accordingly. Watch this space, because MMSA has no intention of letting up,” concludes Campbell.