Johannesburg – Recently we’ve been talking to all of the major car companies about what they have in store for the remainder of 2020 as South Africa eases out of lockdown.
For this feature we chatted to Nic Campbell, General Manager of Mitsubishi Motors South Africa.
When asked about pricing pressures following the rand’s rapid depreciation this year, he said MMSA had managed to maintain the prices of its current line-up after the restart despite the exchange rate pressure.
“The immediate future is going to be tough and we are going to have to give very careful thought on consumer pockets and ability to purchase to ensure we stay relevant,” Campbell said.
“We are in the business of selling cars and as we represent the Dynamic Shield we will have to be Dynamic in our approach. A lot more e-commerce-based trading, more focus on consumer spending and keep the same quality that a ‘3 diamonds’ customer is used to.”
As for the company’s future product plans, the importer will be introducing an all-new model in the form of the seven-seat Xpander, as well as an upgraded version of the Triton Xtreme and a refreshed Pajero Sport.
Interestingly the Mitsubishi Mirage (pictured above) is missing from this list, following the earlier announcement that the facelifted budget hatchback would be reintroduced to our market in 2020, following its discontinuation in 2017. On that subject, Campbell said: “We are in talks with Japan, however with Covid-19 those talks are on hold and will be picked up on later again.”
Due later in 2020, the XPander Cross is a compact seven-seat MPV with SUV inspired styling, and it’s likely to go head-to-head with the Honda BR-V.
Although MMSA has not made the local details available yet, we’ve found out that overseas versions are powered by a 1.5-ltire normally aspirated petrol engine that produces 77kW, and the crossover offers best-in-class ground clearance of 225mm.
Facelifted Pajero Sport
Expected to hit SA shores “in good time for the December holiday season” the 2020 Pajero Sport gets a bold new front end design that’s similar, but not quite identical, to the new Triton’s face.
The range will also be expanded with a new ‘Exceed’ model that offers more tech features than the current flagship.
The 2.4 turbodiesel engine carries over from the current model, while the cabin has been spruced up with a new infotainment system.
But before the aforementioned Mitsubishi models reach showrooms, Mitsubishi will be introducing the latest version of its Triton Extreme edition, which is due in July.
The vehicle, wilch is only available in 4×4 auto form, will be launched at a small premium over the current flagship model, as Campbell explains:
“The Xtreme offers a host of upgrades, based on customer feedback and valued at around R100 000, but at only R40 000 more than the current model”.
Watch this space for more details on the new products as the year progresses