Mitsubishi is quietly becoming a highly sought brand in Canada. Ron Turcotte, GM and operating partner of Newmarket Mitsubishi, says that it’s a “young brand. Best known by young people. They’re the ones telling their parents to check out our product line.” Those parents – exposed to decades of marketing from brands that have been established here longer, and who thus may default to trusting those brands more from sheer recognition rather than sheer logic – would be well advised to listen to their kids.
“The product is absolutely bulletproof,” Ron says. “We offer a 10 year/160,000 km warranty on the powertrain. It’s Japanese built and assembled. Each of the vehicles gets incredible fuel economy, features voice-activated Bluetooth 2.0 echnology, and heated seats and mirrors are standard in almost everything we sell. For the money, you cannot beat what Mitsubishi offers.”
And it’s clear that the message is finally getting across: Mitsubishi just celebrated its biggest June sales across the country, and Newmarket Mitsubishi itself has just had its biggest month’s sales in its three year presence. “Our sales are growing every single year,” says Ron. His wife, Amanda, is the other operating partner of the dealership, which offers sales and service on the three vehicles that Mitsubishi has released here thus far: the Outlander (the mid-sized 7-passenger SUV), the RVR (the small, compact crossover SUV), and the Lancer.
It’s that last model in particular that turns the heads of all the young people. “Everyone wants a Lancer,” Ron says. And that’s just the Lancer’s base model. It also comes in a Halo Evolution AWD package that boasts 300 HP under the hood. To put that in perspective for car enthusiasts, the Evolution was tested head-to-head with a Lamborghini, and the Evolution kept pace with it.
Their upcoming vehicle – the fourth of the company’s touted “Four Pillars” – is the Mitsubishi Mirage, coming in the spring of 2013. “It’s basically a four-door hatchback, that will only use about 3.5 litres per 100 kilometers [upwards of 70 miles per gallon], and will start somewhere around $12,900,” says Ron.
The addition of the new vehicle will offer further appeal and support to the public that Ron and Amanda are also personally committed to: they sponsor local sports and their kids are involved in local hockey teams. “We want to give back to the community that supports us,” Ron says, noting that Newmarket Mitsubishi gets clients from various regional townships who make the drive in especially for them.
Indeed, the good word is spreading, which should perhaps come as no surprise: while Mitsubishi is only celebrating its 10th year in the country, Ron explains that their products have been in Canada since the 1980s. The manufacturer had reached an agreement with Dodge in those early years, where Dodge marketed Mitsubishi vehicles as its own. The Eagle Talon was the Mitsubishi Eclipse. The Dodge Stealth was a Mitsubishi 3000 GT. The Dodge Colt was known in every other country as the Mitsubishi Colt. Suddenly their apparent decade in Canada actually becomes triple that amount of time here. Which certainly makes Mitsubishi worthy of another look by the parents of those kids who know what the brand has to offer.
Written by Reay Jespersen