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The Warsaw Voice » Business » September 30, 2009
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Dynamism and Development
September 30, 2009   
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Arkadiusz Tomala, managing director and chief operating officer of MMC Car Poland Sp. z o.o., a company that officially represents Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in Poland, talks to Bartosz Grzybiński.

Despite the global crisis in the automotive industry, Mitsubishi's winning streak on the Polish market continues. Its market share is growing, and its sales growth rate is one of the highest of all importers. What's the secret of this success?
These good results were influenced by many factors, from the extension of the Mitsubishi range in recent years to include the new L200, Outlander, Lancer and Colt models, adjustments made to pricing policies and loan, insurance and leasing terms to match Polish customers' purchasing power, development of fleet sales, through management method changes and an increased number of Polish managers, development of the sales network and support for dealers, to marketing activity and investing in our brand image. All these measures have helped improve our market position.

The first significant increase came in 2007 compared with 2006. In 2006, with 2,159 cars sold, our market share was 0.9 percent. A year later, we sold 3,813 cars and our market share grew to 1.3 percent; we were 22nd among importers. Last year, our result was 6,202 cars and 1.94 percent of the market and 19th place. Today, after the first six months with 4,191 cars sold, we are 15th and hold almost 2.5 percent of the market. Most importantly, the sales growth rate is improving all the time and now stands at over 75 percent. This result pleases us the most.

What are your plans for the coming years?
I hope that thanks to completed investments and new projects we can consolidate our position on the Polish market and that in two or three years selling 10,000 Mitsubishis will be quite a realistic target.

What about new models? Are there any surprises in store?
Early next year will see the launch of a new turbodiesel engine. This will be a drive unit designed by Mitsubishi, to be placed in the Lancer model first. In early spring, during the Geneva Motor Show, we will present a small SUV based on the Concept cX vehicle.

Mitsubishi is a world leader in developing cars powered by alternative energy sources and the world's first corporation to make a mass-produced model with an electric drive, the i-MiEV. In Japan, this car has been on the market since mid-year and is very popular. The company has received 1,400 orders so far, while sales plans eyeing 5,000 cars. Sales in Europe will start in the middle of next year, but right now two such vehicles are being tested at Frankfurt airport. This car has also been shown in Poland. Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Masuko attended the car's September premiere in Warsaw.

Isn't it a rare thing for a corporation's president to attend the premiere of a new model?
That's true, but it just shows how important pro-environmental innovations are to the Mitsubishi brand. As part of its Environmental Vision 2020 program, Mitsubishi plans to achieve a minimum 20-percent market share in the electric vehicle market.

A visit of this kind is a great honor, of course, and shows appreciation for our work. It's a sign that the Polish market is becoming increasingly important to Mitsubishi. Already today we are Mitsubishi's third-largest market in Europe, additionally with the highest sales growth, and one of the nine fastest-developing markets in the world.
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