Sales of Mitsubishi Triton up 24% for FY 2021, over 60% first-time owners, mostly ex-sedan owners

Hans · Aug 5, 2022 11:06 AM

Sales of Mitsubishi Triton up 24% for FY 2021, over 60% first-time owners, mostly ex-sedan owners 01

Just when you thought that pick-up trucks are becoming too expensive (10 years ago, they used to sell for just slightly over RM 100k), the market is showing us that customers are responding well to the new generation of plusher, lifestyle-oriented (as opposed to workhorse), feature-packed but higher price pick-up trucks.

The most expensive Mitsubishi Triton Athlete 4x4 now costs RM 146,600, while the cheapest Triton 4x4 M/T variant now costs RM 103,200.

Sales of Mitsubishi Triton up 24% for FY 2021, over 60% first-time owners, mostly ex-sedan owners 02

Ten years ago, the most expensive Triton VGT variant (RM 105,997 then) sold for the price of today’s cheapest double-cab variant Triton 4x4 MT.

Of course, the Triton then didn’t have any of the collision-avoiding advance driving aids, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible infotainment, and fancy vicious-coupling locking centre differential Super Select 4WD II of the latest Triton.

Sales of Mitsubishi Triton up 24% for FY 2021, over 60% first-time owners, mostly ex-sedan owners 01

Neither did it rode as comfortably as the latest Triton, whose cabin quietness - despite using a diesel engine - rivals many petrol-powered family SUVs, but with more go-anywhere capability.

The Ringgit was also a lot stronger then, but that's another story.

10 years ago, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) was selling around 6,000 Tritons a year and this trend continued until 2019, shortly before the pandemic.

Today, despite the shortage in semiconductor parts and higher prices, MMM is selling more Tritons than before.

Sales of Mitsubishi Triton up 24% for FY 2021, over 60% first-time owners, mostly ex-sedan owners 02

For Financial Year 2021 (April 2021 to March 2022), MMM recorded a sharp 24 percent increase in Triton sales.

According to CEO Shinya Ikeda, more than 60 percent of Triton customers are first-time Mitsubishi owners, majority of them had upgraded from a sedan.

This proves that the new Triton’s product concept is succeeding in convincing customers to trade up from their sedan, which is not difficult since this is market trend today anyway, but where the Triton pulled ahead is convincing ex-sedan owners to choose a Triton instead of a typical SUV, which due to a gap in product lifecycles, is a segment that Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia is temporarily unrepresented there.

Sales of Mitsubishi Triton up 24% for FY 2021, over 60% first-time owners, mostly ex-sedan owners 03

Abang Viva, now known as Abang Triton, is among the new group of first-time pick-up buyers the Triton won over

Interestingly, Mitsubishi’s strategy to grow its market share lies less with aiming for conquest sales from rivals like the Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max or Ford Ranger, but winning over a new group customers who would’ve otherwise not considered a pick-up truck.

In other words, MMM is using the Triton to plough a new field, instead of going head-on against Toyota, Ford, or Isuzu, engaging in a costly price war.

Sales of Mitsubishi Triton up 24% for FY 2021, over 60% first-time owners, mostly ex-sedan owners 04

Triton's 5.9m turning circle, clears U-turns easier than a Civic RS (6.1 metre), helps win over sedan owners

Also readHonda Civic vs Mitsubishi Triton – Which is easier to clear a tight U-turn?

“Migration from other pick-ups is less than 20 percent, I believe it’s 18 or 17 percent. One fourth of total Triton customers are from customers migrating from small sedans. Anyway, 60 percent of Triton customers is, from our view point, new customers and we are very happy with that,” said Ikeda at the sidelines of the Triton Phantom Plus Edition's launch yesterday.

MMM’s ability to increase its total sales (it has since overtaken Nissan to become Malaysia’s 5th best-selling car brand, 3rd best non-national car brand) despite having less models to sell, is a perfect case study of how to sell more with less, thus living up to Mitsubishi Motors “Small but Beautiful” business goal for the mid-term.

Sales of Mitsubishi Triton up 24% for FY 2021, over 60% first-time owners, mostly ex-sedan owners 05

In 2019, before the pandemic, MMM had 3 models – Triton, ASX, and Outlander. Today, the company has only 2 models – Xpander and Triton, but MMM ended calendar year 2021 with 17,489 units, more than doubling its pre-pandemic 2019 sales of 8,140 units.

The company discontinued local assembly of its 7-seater Outlander and 5-seater ASX last year. Both models were contract assembled by the Tan Chong Motor Assemblies plant in Segambut.

The Xpander is locally-assembled at Pekan while the Triton is imported from Thailand.

Sales of Mitsubishi Triton up 24% for FY 2021, over 60% first-time owners, mostly ex-sedan owners 06

CEO Ikeda would love to sell even more Tritons but the company progress is limited by supply. Like many distributors, securing more units is a daily challenge.

Ikeda says the shortage in semiconductor parts is no longer as bad as before, but the problem is unlikely to go away in 2023 and may even linger longer.

“I believe this semiconductor (shortage) global issue will taper off sooner or later, but still, my personal estimation is that it will still continue for one year, or more,” he said.

Sales of Mitsubishi Triton up 24% for FY 2021, over 60% first-time owners, mostly ex-sedan owners 07

Also read: Mitsubishi Motors Thailand's 6 millionth unit is this strikingly orange Triton

An all-new generation Outlander is due, but MMM is still mum on its local introduction, but we expect announcements to be made sometime next year.

CEO Ikeda has confirmed that at least 2 new SUVs are coming, pointing to earlier announcements by parent company Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s Mid-Term Business plan made in 2021.

Hans

Head of Content

Over 15 years of experience in automotive, from product planning, to market research, to print and digital media. Garages a 6-cylinder manual RWD but buses to work.

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