Here's what's being done about it.
Once upon a time, Mitsubishi was at the top of the tree when it came to Japanese cars. The company has also dropped some true icons on us over the decades, including the furiously fast series of Lancer Evo models. However, in the US the company has been a footnote for a while now. It's been a spiral downward, but it was Nissan discovering the company had been cheating on its fuel figures that hit Mitsubishi while the company was down.
Then Mitsubishi admitted it had faked those fuel numbers for 25 years. It's a scandal the company has yet to come back from but it appears Mitsubishi, with help from its dealers, is trying to create a new identity for itself in the US.
A report from Automotive News focuses on a Texas Mitsubishi dealer going all-in with the brand, debuting the automaker's design program that's crafted to make dealerships more visible and inviting. Fred Diaz became the North American CEO of Mitsubishi Motors last year and admits that "We still suffer from an awareness issue across the United States. Some people don't even realize that Mitsubishi actually sells vehicles in the United States"
Diaz is pushing hard to raise brand awareness with new marketing approaches and fresh products, which will be helped by the automaker joining the Nissan-Renault alliance a few years ago after Nissan purchased a controlling interest. Mitsubishi is also aware the brand needs to increase its dealer footprint nationally and, to that end, dealer stores are opening at an increased rate.
According to the Texas dealer, Doug Baum, he feels his 5-week-old store is a solid bet and the new high-profile facility will improve on his 700 new vehicles sales by 20% over his previous location last year. Hopefully, positive dealers and Diaz's push for Mitsubishi to get back in the game will pay off. After all, one day we would love to see Mitsubishi making awesome cars, SUV's, and trucks again. Particularly the new Evo that's rumored to be a possibility.