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Eclipse Cross scores high

Mitsubishi’s latest addition to New Zealand’s SUV mix, the Eclipse Cross, will join the market early next year with a 5 star safety rating from the Australasia New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP). 

The Eclipse Cross did well across the crash tests, scoring one of the highest scores for adult occupant protection in its class.

“Australasian consumers continue to be spoilt for choice in the SUV segment with the new Eclipse Cross arriving on sale with a top ANCAP safety rating,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Mr James Goodwin.

“The Eclipse Cross achieved a very high score for Adult Occupant Protection at 97% – the equal second highest score in this area of assessment, and the highest in its class.”

The Eclipse Cross has kept pace with ANCAP’s increasing safety standards. 

“The design of the front of the vehicle as well as its ability to avoid or minimise the injury risk to a pedestrian through its standard fitment of autonomous emergency braking contributed to its strong score of 80% for Pedestrian Protection,” said Mr Goodwin.

AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says it’s fantastic to see Mitsubishi creating mid-range vehicles that rival some of the more expensive models in terms of safety.

“It shows that price isn’t indicative of a vehicle’s safety and that there are plenty of options for Kiwi drivers looking for safe vehicles at every price point,” says Ms Stocks.

The small SUV also comes equipped with a wide range of safety assist technologies, which help to prevent crashes, including all three grades of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

The 5 star safety rating applies to all variants of the Eclipse Cross.

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New leadership for Mitsubishi New Zealand

Mitsubishi’s New Zealand arm has new top-level management, with the company announcing this morning that current CEO and president Tomoki Yanagawa will be replaced by long serving company employee Warren Brown.

Brown has been with Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand for over 22 years, beginning as a marketing coordinator in 1987 and progressing through the ranks.

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand’s new CEO and President, Warren Brown.

Yanagawa said he leaves his role with “the utmost confidence in my successor’s capability and vision in securing the continued success of Mitsubishi in New Zealand”.

“Warren has been instrumental in helping to lead the company through eight years of consecutive growth and is backed by an exceptionally strong management team, who between them continue to drive the company forward to bigger and better things,” said Yanagawa.

Brown said that while Yanagawa’s tenure was a success, his company’s NZ operations were still a work in progress.

“The fresh insight and assured leadership that he delivered has helped take us to the next level. We know there is room for improvement and we know where we need and want to get to. We have a very clear set of goals in place and, just as importantly, the drive and commitment required to achieve them.”




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Mitsubishi debuts eCanter

Mitsubishi has unveiled the eCanter, the Japanese car makers first electric medium-duty electric delivery truck.

Unveiled by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corportation (MFTBC), a part of Daimler Trucks, the vehicle will aim to transform urban areas, FleetOwner reports.

According to the company, reduced noise and zero emissions is a key to making cities more liveable.

The eCanter in New York City

The truck was driven through New York city by Fuso president and CEO Jecka Glasman, where Fuso converted an old gas station into its temporary “Energy Station of the Future”.

Introducing the truck, Marc Llistosella, president and CEO of MFTBC and head of Daimler Trucks Asia, said some of the main trends he’s seen that will have major impacts on the trucking and bus industries are urbanisation, emissions reduction, and energy efficiency.

“We have been seeing more and more renewable, clean energy,” Llistosella explained. “There were a lot of hesitations and resistance, but now I would say [electrification] is coming.”

Llistosella noted that 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in cities, which has become a main driver for electrification and the need for clean trucks and buses.

“Cities have a voice,” he says. “It’s clear they want less pollution, less emissions and much less noise. We see a lot of tendencies and strong statements – from cities like Paris – that from 2040 on, they will no longer allow combustion-engine vehicles and trucks allowed into the cities. We will see changes driven by the cities.”

The eCanter has a range of about 100kms and a load capacity up to three and a half tons – depending on body and usage. The vehicle’s electric powertrain contains six high voltage lithium ion battery packs with 420 V and13.8 kWh each. According to the company, when comparing the eCanter to a conventional diesel truck, it offers savings up to US$2,000 per 16,000 kms on operating costs.

The eCanter will be delivered to customers starting this year in the US, Europe and Japan. MFTBC says it is planning to deliver 500 units of this generation to customers within the next two years. Larger scale production is intended to start in 2019.


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Mitsubishi Triton sure to please

Mitsubishi Motors NZ has created a rugged rural beast with its new Triton 4WD VRX.

The new vehicle will be available to look through at the Mitsubishi Fieldays site J30. “Starting from the top and building up, we’ve taken the leader of our Triton pack – the 4WD VRX – and essentially untamed the beast,” said Daniel Cook, general manager of vehicle sales and marketing. “If our regular Triton is tough, this is the Terminator.”

The special edition ute squares up with a robust TJM front protection bar, custom wide fenders, roof and front-mounted Narva light bars, plus a Rhino Rack Pioneer roof tray and personalised decal.

Poised for action on DTM Fuel Ripper 20” wheels shod with 35” Atturo Trail Blade M/T tyres, the Huntaway stands over 100mm above a regular Triton.

That height is achieved through front 1” spacers between the strut and chassis, 2” rear lift blocks and a 2.5” body lift.

Any rocks thrown up underneath will meet with resolute resistance in the form of a custom Huntaway undertray, while any bigger boulders can be swiftly dodged with assistance from Evolution 8 Brembo brakes up front and rear disk brakes borrowed from Pajero Sport.

Wading through water is a walk in the park with the addition of a snorkel; and for good measure, the build team has thrown on side steps and a jack rear bar, plus a Fully Equipped trade top.

Along with the Huntaway, visitors to Mitsubishi stand, at Fieldays will be greeted by razor sharp deals across the Mitsubishi range including the Outlander and Outlander PHEV, Triton 4WD GLX-R and GLS, ASX, Pajero Sport and Pajero Exceed.


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Mitubishi awards top NZ dealers

Left to right: Brent Delaney, Rachel Delaney, Simon Lucas, Carolyn Lucas, Matthew Barr, Nicola Barr, Angela Chatfield, Aaron Chatfield, Sharron Windust, Chris Windust, Darrell Russell, Catherine Russell, Rae Barton, Mark Barton, Tomoki Yanagawa.

Seven Mitsubishi dealers were awarded at the annual Diamond Dealer awards, held in Arrowtown. A range of provincial and urban dealerships from Christchurch to Whangarei were selected from the 56-strong Mitsubishi Motors network in New Zealand.

The winners were; Mathew Barr (Christchurch Mitsubishi), Mark Barton (Auckland Motors Mitsubishi), Aaron Chatfield (Bay City Mitsubishi), Brent Delaney (Delaney Mitsubishi), Simon Lucas (Simon Lucas Mitsubishi), Darrell Russell (Piako Mitsubishi Morrinsville) and Sharron Windust (Pacific Motor Group).

The awards follow a successful 12 months for Mitsubishi, who closed the 2016 financial year with its biggest March in 27 years. The network 1056 sales across the country for a total 9,718 vehicles sold – a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent.

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand’s chief operating officer, Warren Brown, attributed the company’s success to the strength and resilience of the dealer network. “We are extremely proud to have achieved a seventh consecutive year of growth and credit for that must go to all those teams across the country, who have put in the hard work and dedication required to ensure customers drive away happy,” he said.

“Our Diamond Dealers are right at the front of the pack, demonstrating excellence in every aspect of their business. We are extremely proud to award them our highest accolade and give them the peer and market recognition they deserve.”

Several Diamond Dealer recipients also collected other awards on the night. The trophies for top new vehicle sales, top market share and finance dealer of the year were awarded to Sharron Windust of Pacific Group Motors in Whangarei.

Mark Baron of Auckland Motors, who won his 13th Diamond Dealer Award this year, also recieved a service excellence award.

Aaron Chatfield of Bay City Mitsubishi, in Tauranga, took home his fourth Diamond Dealer award in a row as well as excellence in customer service and top market share. Rural dealer Darrell Russell of Piako Mitsubishi, Morrinsville, also claimed a top new vehicle sales award.

Other winners included Mexted Mitsubishi and Houston Mitsubishi Blenheim, for customer service, Andrew Simms Mitsubishi for top new vehicle sales, Archibald Mitsubishi for overall parts excellence and top market share, and Magnus Lennie Mitsubishi, who won the managing directors award.

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Mitsubishi bolsters NZ managers

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand has restructured its senior management team following a seventh consecutive year of growth, as the company looks to further build on its local market share.

Former head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook has taken on the role of general manager of vehicle sales and marketing. A 15-year veteran of Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand, Cook will now handle fleet sales and customer service.

“We want our customers to feel cared for at every point in their relationship with us,” Cook says.

Cook told Autofile that it is an expansion of his former role, although there is some ‘filtering down of responsibilities’ from his former role to other staff members.

Last financial year, Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand had an 18 per cent year-on-year sales increase, and Cook wants this number to grow.

 “This financial year, we’re looking to sell 11,000 units,” he says. “I’m confident we’ll achieve that.”

Noel Comerford has been made general manager of after sales and will spearhead a three-year initiative to strengthen Mitsubishi’s after-sales performance and grow its position in the industry.

“We have a very talented and dedicated team across our 56 dealerships nationwide,” he says.

“We’ve invested in a new training programme and last year took our best-performing sales and service staff to Japan to compete against the top individuals from the global Mitsubishi Motors network.”

“I’m convinced we will achieve the ambitious goals we’ve set ourselves.”

Managing director Tomoki Yanagawa says the restructure would support the foundations of their recent market success.

“Thanks to the collective efforts of our entire team, Mitsubishi Motors has experienced extraordinary growth in New Zealand over the past seven years,” he says.

 “These appointments both recognise the contributions Daniel and Noel have made individually, and ensure we have the right structure in place to grow even further into the future.”

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Mitsubishi launches new Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi have launched their upgraded Outlander PHEV, a plug-in hybrid which contains two electric batteries and a 2.0-litre petrol engine.

The 2017 Outlander PHEV’s battery has an extended range of 54km, and an eight-year warranty. It also includes DC Fast Charge for the first time, which is capable of an 80 per cent charge in around 20 minutes.

The new CHADeMO DC Fast Charge socket sits alongside the regular AC mains connection, meaning the Outlander PHEV can charge overnight to full capacity and have a quick top-up on the road if needed.

48 Fast Charge stations are now available around New Zealand, with 100 expected to be installed by the end of the year.

“This significant development further reduces the compromise posed by battery life in EV technology,” says Mitsubishi head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook.

Fuel economy is rated 1.7L/100km, and a new EV priority mode can be activated to further boost fuel efficiency, which will prevent the petrol situation from starting up automatically when a greater power output is required. A smartphone app matched to this system allows drivers to set charging times and climate mode for the vehicle.

The Outlander PHEV also comes with a suite of safety features, including ABS, active stability control, active traction control, hill-start assist, electric park brake and brake auto hold, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision mitigation, auto high-beam, lane departure warning, rearview parking camera and seven airbags, and both variants have a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

The VRX also contains blind-spot detection and rear-cross traffic alert as standard.

Pricing begins at $60,990 for the Outlander PHEV XLS and $67,990 for the Outlander PHEV VRX, and both are available at registered Mitsubishi dealers.

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Mitubishi and Nissan may share ute production

The Mitsubishi Triton

Mitsubishi Motors and its new parent company Nissan are investigating joint production of its utes in Southeast Asia as part of a broader plan to cut costs within the alliance.

Nissan bought a 34 per cent controlling stage in the ailing car maker last October for $3.3 billion, and have been aggressively seeking ways to cut costs and maximise profits.

Mitsubishi COO Trevor Mann told Reuters that the two car makers may pool technical resources and production of future replacements for the Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton.

Future models are likely to be based on the Thai-produced Mitsubishi models, Mann said. “Our four-by-four technology, our cost base on pickups is better than Nissan’s.”

Nissan and Mitsubishi currently produce their utes on separate lines in their Thai factories, and moving to a common design could allow Mitsubishi to specialise in utes and for Nissan to build more cars and SUVs, which would increase productivity at both plants.

The current Navara and Triton models, which both launched in 2014, are not due for a replacement until 2022, which means changes to production is still some time away. Mann stressed to Reuters that nothing is yet confirmed, and decisions still had to be made.

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Mitsubishi debuts new crossover SUV

Another crossover SUV debuted at the Geneva Auto Show this week. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross was first previewed last month as part of a line-up refresh, and finally revealed in Switzerland, and will sit alongside the ASX and beneath the Outlander in the Mitsubishi range.

The Eclipse nameplate is a revival for the car maker, and was first seen in a small sports coupe in the 1990s and 2000s. The Eclipse Crossover features a couple-like silhouette with a tapered roof, and Mitsubishi promises a sporty driving experience.

 The SUV comes with two powertrain options. The first is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine matched to a CVT automatic transmission, with an ‘eight-speed’ sport mode manual control option. The second is a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel, which is paired to an eight-speed automatic. Power figures are yet to be confirmed by Mitsubishi. and all-wheel drive will come as standard.

Mitsubishi have said the Eclipse Cross will be on sale in the U.S. and Europe in early 2018, with a New Zealand launch date yet to be confirmed.

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Cars recalled in Australia

A range of cars from Suzuki, Land Rover, Lamborghini and Mitsubishi have been recalled in Australia for varying safety problems.

Selected Suzuki Grand Vitara SUVs sold between 2008 and 2013 have been recalled due to a potentially weak gear shift rear shaft. If it breaks, gear shift operation becomes impossible, and drivers will no longer be able to operate their vehicles. While it is not confirmed to affect local cars, Suzuki New Zealand promises to contact any owner of a recalled vehicle and replace the faulty parts free of charge.

Jaguar Land Rover have also issued a recall for three of its models, the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque, as there is a possibility the front passenger airbag may not deploy in the event of a crash. It affects a range of SUVs sold between August and October in 2016, and no identified cases of airbag failure have been reported. Local Land Rover distributors will contact owners immediately if the fault is found to affect New Zealand vehicles.

Selected Lamborghini Aventador models have also been recalled for a fuel overfilling issue. According to the super-car maker, if the car has an overfilled petrol tank, and under “particular handling conditions,” fuel could reach the carbon canister, resulting in the potential failure in the evaporative emission control system. This could cause a fire if vapours come into contact with engine gases.

The fault affects Lamborghini Aventadormodels worldwide and was first notified by the US Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday. Lamborghini Auckland consultant Andrew Szczepanskisaid local dealerships were yet to be contacted regarding the fault, but would inform Lamborghini owners if future problems arose.

The Mitsubishi ASX crossover has also been recalled for a possible failure with front windshield wipers. The recall affects vehicles sold between 2011 and 2014. Water may seep into the wiper motors and could lead to rust or seizure and become inoperable. Mitsubishi New Zealand has made no local announcement, but has an online system where owners can check via their VIN number if their car is affected.

The above models are not currently listed on

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2017 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport released

Mitsubishi New Zealand has released the new 2017 Pajero Sport, with an increased focus on safety features.

Both the XLS and VRX variants contain a 2.4-litre diesel engine, which produces 135kW of power and 437Nm of torque and gives the vehicle a 3-tonne towing capacity. The 4WD is the first in the Mistubishi range to include an advanced off-road mode and can drive through water up to 700mm deep.

“For no extra cost, we’ve improved on what are already very high safety specifications across the range,” says Mitsubishi head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook.

Forward collision mitigation is new to the XLS, which detects when the vehicle ahead rapidly slows down and applies the brakes. A blind spot warning is also introduced, and both features come as standard.

The VRX also contains a multi-around view monitor, ultrasonic miss-acceleration mitigation system, sensor-activated wipers and headlights, and adaptive cruise control. Speed is matched with the vehicle ahead to maintain a safe following distance via radar in the front of the car.

Both variants also come with multi-mode anti-lock braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, active stability control, active traction control, and seven airbags as standard. The Pajero Sport also features hill-start assist, which prevents rollback on steep hills, and tractor stability assist. ANCAP awarded the SUV a five-star safety rating.

The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport XLS is available for $49,990+orc, and the VRX is priced at $60,990+orc.  Both are available at registered Mitsubishi dealerships nationwide.

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