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Mitsubishi Recommits to Fleet

The automaker is making a strong, new commitment to the fleet market going into 2013. It hopes to offer fleets an attractive mix of reliability, innovative technology, and lower lifecycle costs.

November 2012, by Chris Wolski - Also by this author

The Outlander Sport (above) and i-MiEV may have different propulsion systems, but both deliver efficiency and cost savings to fleets, according to the automaker.
The Outlander Sport (above) and i-MiEV may have different propulsion systems, but both deliver efficiency and cost savings to fleets, according to the automaker.

As Mitsubishi sees it, 2012 has been the perfect time to recommit to the fleet market.

This is a result of ongoing tight budgets, the search for innovative technology, and lower total costs of ownership that has made its vehicles attractive options for fleets, according to Joe Delello, director, Franchise Development and Corporate Fleet.

He noted the automaker’s product line helps answer concerns about cost and efficiency, with the bonus of helping fleets meet their sustainability goals.

“Fleets, both in the public and private sectors, have applications that require four-wheel-drive capability, and most fleets are looking to reduce fuel consumption. Mitsubishi can meet both of those needs,” Delello said.

Meeting Fleets’ Needs

Delello pointed to three Mitsubishi models that offer fleets very specific answers to today’s market, the Outlander family of CUVs and the i-MiEV.

“Fleets are downsizing out of full-size SUVs, and we offer our mid-sized Outlander crossover, and the fuel-efficient, redesigned Outlander Sport. And, with the focus on green technology, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV all-electric sedan is an excellent solution,” Delello said.

The 2013 Outlander features a 168 hp 2.4L four-cylinder engine connected to a Sportronic CVT on the ES and SE models and a 230 hp 3.0L V-6 engine and Sportronic 6-speed automatic transmission combination.

The Outlander Sport is powered by a 148 hp DOHC 2.0L four-cylinder engine equipped with Mitsubishi’s MIVEC variable valve-timing technology. In addition, the Outlander Sport includes numerous safety features and amenities, including Mitsubishi Motors’ all-wheel control all-wheel-drive system, which is also found on the Outlander SE model.

Every 2013 Outlander model is certified as a low emissions vehicle (LEV) in all 50 states.

According to Delello, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is particularly suited for urban and city applications.

“For any kind of local use — security patrol, municipal meter readers, mail delivery, and light maintenance — the i-MiEV is the perfect solution,” he said.

The vehicle can accommodate four passengers, offers 13.5 cubic feet of cargo space, and gets 112 combined miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe).

The i-MiEV is only the beginning of the company’s alt-fuel commitment. It plans to introduce several other alt-fuel vehicles in the North American market over the next several years, beginning with the planned introduction of a plug-in hybrid-electric version of the Outlander in 2014.

As an added benefit for fleet customers, the 2012 i-MiEV and 2013 Outlander and Outlander Sport each carry a $1,500 incentive per vehicle.

Partnership is the Theme

If there’s a theme that sums up the Mitsubishi fleet program, it’s partnership.

Delello noted the automaker has developed a fleet program and processes that will enable company representatives to work in partnership with dealers, fleets, and fleet management companies.

“Dedicated fleet professionals, both at our corporate offices in Cypress, Calif., and in the field, now have tools and programs that include our new automated ordering system, fleet incentives, and factory courtesy delivery assistance,” he said. “Combined with vehicles that fleets want and need, we’re confident that Mitsubishi has what the market needs,” he said.

For Delello, a “Mitsubishi” fleet is “fuel efficient, hard working, and technologically world class.”

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