Mitsubishi sets eyes upon small car segment of India

Friday 06 April 2012, 10:35 AM by

Mitsubishi, the well established Japanese auto maker, is known in the Indian auto market for its appealing sedans and powerful Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). However, the company is looking to tread off the beaten path and is planning to mark its presence in other potential segments of Indian auto industry, such as the small car segment.

Mitsubishi sets eyes upon small car segment of India |
Mitsubishi sets eyes upon small car segment of India

As per Masahiko Ueki, Japan Executive Officer, MMC and Corporate General Manager of Asia and ASEAN region, the company has drafted plans to introduce a small car in the market in coming two or three years. Mitsubishi will probably launch its international hatchback Mirage, which was also already been introduced in Thailand, in the domestic market. The car holds a 1.2 litre engine and is likely to face a decent competition from established cars belonging to the same segment. Before the launch of Mirage in Indian market, the company aims to develop its dealer as well as service network, since the current set up is not prepared enough to hold high volume vehicles like hatchbacks. In the current scenario, Mitsubishi has maintained 39 outlets throughout the country.

Ueki said, “We have a global hatchback, which is being unveiled this month in Thailand. We're looking at the feasibility of bringing that to India and are considering both the sedan and the hatch versions. We need more sales outlets to generate volumes. We need a proper infrastructure. We need some more time to launch that car in India. We may invest in this by ourselves or with our partner.”

In the initial stages, Mitsubishi may choose the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) route to assemble the small car in India. Ueki further added that the company is currently finding new options to enter in the small car segment and can also enter the market over its own without the assistance of its domestic business partner, Hindustan Motors. However, he did not deny the possibility of using HM's Chennai production unit in the near future for producing its hatchback. Akin to its rivals Suzuki and Nissan, the Japanese automotive major can also consider India as a manufacturing hub for its hatchbacks in future.

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