Misubishi Dealers are the Worst
January 29, 2000. Yes, the worst out of 37 brands! Pied Piper Management computes Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI), an industry standard gauge of how well dealers treat the potential customers, by sending "3,531 hired anonymous 'mystery shoppers'Ã‚Â into auto dealerships nationwide, then used the patent-pending PSI process to compile the results into accurate measurement of how each brand's dealerships treat car shoppers. The 2009 study showed that a brand or dealership's treatment of shoppers paralleled their retail sales success. Eight of the top ten brands when ranked by PSI also gained market share from 2008 to 2009, while eight of the bottom ten brands when ranked by PSI lost market share from 2008 to 2009."
For the second year in running Mitsubishi dealers performed worse than other 36 brand dealerships. Mitsubishi scored 93 while the industry average was 103. In contrast Mercedes-Benz dealers scored 110 ranking first followed by Lexus dealers with score of 108. Obviously those dealers treat their customers right while in case of Mitsubishi, the brave ones who dare to visit Mitsubishi dealers even after hearing of Mitsubishi vehicles' poor resale values and other issues and problems, face unpleasant experience at those dealerships.Mitsubishi buyers can't get no satisfaction even before buying their vehicles!
Mitsubishi Dealers were ranked last in 2008 too!
Yes, the worst out of 37 brand! Surprisingly they scored about average in 2007 but while most brands managed to increase their scores since then, epecially brands like Mercedes-Benz and Suzuki, Mitsubishi's dropped precipitously. Why?
Why are Mitsubishi Dealers so Bad?
Here we examine some of the factors contributing to this sad state of affairs. Currently Mitsubishi Motors claims to have more than 400 dealers nationwide and last year (2009) it sold fewer than 54,000 vehicles which comes to average of fewer than 3 vehicles sold each week at an average dealerships. Which means quite a few of them sold 1, 2, oe even 0 Mitsubishi cars in a typical week. For comparison, Longo Toyota, a dealership near Los Angeles, sells more than 15,000 new cars a year, or 300 a week. Low volume means low profits (mostly loss) for a typical dealer and lower availability of desirable vehicles that the customers can drive off the lot immediately.
Mitsubishi has been making quite obsolete Eclipses, Galants and Endeavors for some time and pushing them for sale which have been collecting dust at dealer lots. It is quite typical for them to stay at dealerships for 6 months or more, straining dealers financially by tying-up their capital and because of rapid depreciation on these vehicle, creating losses for them. A few bright spots like the Mitsubishi Lancers are in short supply therefore frustrating dealers. Don Herring, chairman of the Mitsubishi dealer council was quite vocal about this Lancer shortage and stated 'we need it now."
Moreover, dealers are not sure if Mitsubishi will remain for business in the USA. While the corporate chiefs (eg John Koenig, executive vice president-MMNA) are claiming that they won't leave the American market, most dealers seem to be sceptical about Mitsubishi's viability in very competitive US markets. We think many dealers are looking for exit from their relationship with Mitubishi and have lost enthusiasm for selling Mitsubishi cars to customers.
Thanks to severe cost cutting at Mitsubishi Motors North America, there is little money for promotion on TVs etc and that is frustrated that Mitsubishi is not helping them move the cars from their lots. Mitsubishi's budget is less than 200 million dollars and it will be mostly spent on internet. Whatever promotion is going on, some claim that they don't have the appeal of a few yeas back.
The products are simply not competitive given high price of Mitsubishi vehicles in spite of being inferior to other brands like Honda, Hyundai etc. "Why would you buy a Galant when you can get a Camry or Accord at a better price?" Armen Avanessian, general manager at Glendale Mitsubishi in Southern California, recently told Automotive News.
We can go on. But in our view the nightmare on Mitsubishi dealership street can be traced to Mitsubishi Motors' problems and dealers can't be blamed for this mess.
Mitsubishi Motors' Plan to Improve Dealer Experience
Mitsubishi USA seems to be trying to streamline its dealer network. President Osamu Masuko, the automaker will undergo an in depth review of its 400-plus dealership network.
In the UK, Mitsubishi Motors UK has come up with its 3-points plan to help dealers. This includes reduction in dealer charges, new models (read i-MiEV) and reduction in thing like vehicle stocking costs and demonstration requirements.
Moreover, Mitsubishi will help dealers with setting up their internet sites.