31 August 2016

Mitsubishi Sports Car Production By Model : 1997-2014

In the final of the series, we look at sports cars. In this period there are three models to consider and none were produced beyond 2011. It is a class of car that has lost ground over the years. I don't know what the customers bought instead, but perhaps it was just the Sunday drive that has gone out of fashion.

The Eclipse was a compact model produced in 3-door hatchback and 2-door convertible configurations. It lasted a long time, from 1980 to 2011. It was also made for Chrysler, being sold under the brands Plymouth (until 1994) and Eagle (until 1998), the latter I have kept out of the data below.

The Eclipse was aimed at the North American market but also went to the Middle East and a few other markets. It was made in the US and 900,000 came down the assembly line, including those made for Chrysler.

The Eclipse model

The FTO was a Japan only compact 2-door coupé, which was eventually sold in limited numbers in a few right hand drive markets. It's life span was only from the year 1994 to 2000 and 36,500 were made, the majority of those in 1994. I think more should have been done with this model.

The Mitsubishi GTO or 3000 GT came as either a 2-door coupé or soft top (briefly) and was produced between 1990 and 2000. It was also sold as a Dodge but that ended in 1995. It was a touring sports car, built in Japan. Somewhere in the region of 80,000 were possibly made (excluding Dodge).

Summary: Sports cars are not about making money but to provide a halo model for the brand. It gives a positive sporty image that helps sales for other models, although difficult to quantify how beneficial in that regard. Despite any benefit these cars offered, Mitsubishi reached a point it had to vacate this segment due to financial constraints.

In the chart below, the extreme right column shows the percentage of total Mitsubishi car and LCV sales.


Yr Eclipse FTO GTO Total %



3000GT


97 66,000 1,960 5,496 73,456 5

98 50,966 1,033 2,207 54,206 4

99 54,340 616 2,355 57,311 4

00 77,795 160 114 78,069 6

01 70,565 - - 70,565 6

02 75,323 - - 75,323 6

03 25,974 - - 25,974 2

04 10,433 - - 10,433 1

05 37,399 - - 37,399 3

06 39,602 - - 39,602 3

07 24,333 - - 24,333 2

08 13,814 - - 13,814 1

09 2,278 - - 2,278 0

10 7,173 - - 7,173 1

11 4,956 - - 4,956 0

12 - - - 0 -

13 - - - 0 -

14 - - - 0 -

Data source: Mitsubishi Motors.

Links to the other articles in the series: Regular, Kei, SUV, MPV, LCV and Regional.

30 August 2016

Pick-Up Trucks 2015 : Top 50 Models

Pick-ups were once work horses that were utilitarian in execution. Today most are more car-like in comfort and finish, so private buyers have increasingly been obtaining them. They are more popular in some regions than others. In countries with an outdoor lifestyle - such as New Zealand - they have become extremely popular.

Easily NZ's best selling model

The biggest selling pick-up models are large vehicles sold in North America. Medium sized ones are selling everywhere else with some small models for Asia and emerging nations. US and Japanese brand names dominate the list, with Europe's lesser interest in this sort of vehicle reflected by their absence. However, Mercedes and Renault should soon be on the list with Navara based offerings.


Rk Model 2015 2014 +/-

1 Ford F-Series 920,632 907,652 1.4%

2 Chevrolet Silverado 670,187 592,514 13.1%

3 Toyota Hilux 580,613 597,310 -2.8%

4 Ram Pick-up 542,559 528,554 2.7%

5 GMC Sierra 289,797 270,621 7.1%

6 Isuzu D-Max 273,744 260,988 4.9%

7 Ford Ranger 205,699 187,617 9.6%

8 Toyota Tacoma 199,964 174,009 14.9%

9 Toyota Tundra 131,433 126,639 3.8%

10 Chevrolet Colorado 108,107 29,040 272.3%

11 Fiat Strada 106,787 163,747 -34.8%

12 Nissan Frontier 98,387 109,210 -9.9%

13 Mitsubishi Triton (L200) 91,670 81,040 13.1%

14 Great Wall Pick-up 90,866 150,362 -39.6%

15 Volkswagen Saveiro 73,237 97,102 -24.6%

16 Nissan Navara 71,329 78,067 -8.6%

17 Volkswagen Amarok 65,290 69,692 -6.3%

18 Mitsubishi Triton 60,719 69,181 -12.2%

19 Nissan Pick-up 58,908 52,065 13.1%

20 Daihatsu Grand Max PU 58,121 57,151 1.7%

21 Suzuki Carry Pick-up 53,055 56,265 -5.7%

22 Mazda BT-50 52,616 53,685 -2.0%

23 Toyota Land Cruiser PU 49,593 41,370 19.9%

24 Chevrolet S10 43,054 58,801 -26.8%

25 GMC Canyon 36,564 5,168 607.5%

26 ZX Auto Grand Tiger 34,828 34,572 0.7%

27 Suzuki Ravi 33,008 13,267 148.8%

28 Dongfeng Rich 32,119 57,858 -44.5%

29 Nissan D22 30,623 42,399 -27.8%

30 Iran Khodro Bardo 27,883 88,082 -68.3%

31 Mitsubishi T120-SS PU 27,584 29,378 -6.1%

32 Chevrolet Montana 24,369 36,950 -34.1%

33 Zamyad Z24 22,940 27,892 -17.8%

34 Holden Colorado 22,106 20,996 5.3%

35 Foton Tunland 19,735 19,410 1.7%

36 Isuzu KB 16,855 17,680 -4.7%

37 Suzuki APV Pick-up 16,785 22,604 -25.7%

38 Nissan Titan 16,357 16,580 -1.3%

39 Saipa 151 Pick-up 13,548 20,359 -33.5%

40 Foton Sup 12,608 13,541 -6.9%

41 Huanghai Serie N1 11,934 14,700 -18.8%

42 Ram 1500-3500 11,890 12,530 -5.1%

43 Iran Khodro Arisun 10,934 - n/a

44 Chevrolet Luv D-Max 10,657 10,657 0.0%

45 Jac Pick-up 9,526 9,132 4.3%

46 Gac Gio Pick-up 8,687 11,784 -26.3%

47 Ram 700 8,159 1,495 445.8%

48 Bahman Cara 6,877 1,741 295.0%

49 Chevrolet Tornado 5,964 5,375 11.0%

50 SsangYong Actyon Spt 5,786 7,357 -21.4%

Data source: focus2move.

29 August 2016

Mitsubishi LCV Production By Model : 1997-2014

Mitsubishi Motors may have lost its Fuso truck division but it retained its light commercial vehicles. As the extreme right column below shows, they have achieved - for the time here under consideration - roughly from 20-30% of all production for MMC. So let's look at each model:

The Triton (L200) pick-up truck is the largest within the LCV range, with about two thirds of total units made. Some may call it a compact pick-up but for me it's medium sized. I'm sure it must have been a vital profit earner for the company. It started production in 1978 and the 5th generation was introduced in 2015 (pictured below).


The Delica (L300) cargo van and mini bus has also been a popular LCV, especially in the Asia and Pacific region. It commenced being made in 1968 and the first three generations were both a tradition van style as well as a pick-up version. The current model is the 5th generation which has been around since 2007. Production is holding up well considering its age.

Mitsubishi also does the Colt T120SS mini pick-up, based on a Suzuki model and made in Indonesia. It is sold only in certain Asian markets. The Minicab (L100) was a Kei sized van from 1966 forward and it was also a mini pick-up too. It seems it was again just for the Asian region. Why production dipped for 2014 is strange, but I don't know much about these Asia only models. Finally the Town Box was a high roofed Kei van produced for 12 years but now discontinued. it was made for the Japanese market.

Yr Triton Delica Colt - Minicab Town Total %
L300 L300 T120 L100 - Box
97 109,323 109,861 18,669 79,325 - 317,178 22
98 89,401 80,035 1,913 71,839 2,261 245,449 18
99 92,284 54,922 3,433 70,367 18,037 239,043 18
00 119,719 61,172 6,768 62,770 10,394 260,823 19
01 107,933 41,869 10,416 56,245 9,601 226,064 19
02 122,616 44,279 15,268 45,899 4,949 233,011 18
03 117,696 41,861 17,568 72,125 5,561 254,811 21
04 146,877 47,850 22,704 68,197 4,262 289,890 27
05 158,063 45,089 18,192 67,179 4,143 292,666 25
06 169,820 46,494 5,372 65,251 3,357 290,294 24
07 189,037 67,206 10,944 57,318 10,105 334,610 25
08 162,178 48,955 12,201 52,106 8,241 283,681 27
09 111,336 49,953 9,744 48,206 3,892 223,131 26
10 163,342 61,860 19,392 52,134 3,086 299,814 28
11 173,463 64,258 26,225 60,926 2,542 327,414 32
12 209,160 62,212 31,473 61,350 - 364,195 32
13 164,527 66,249 33,746 48,655 - 313,177 25
14 171,005 55,916 29,184 1,042 - 257,147 20

Summary: LCV production is based around the Triton pick-up, the only model among these with any global reach. Mitsubishi is strong in Asia and that is where the emphasis has been for its LCV vehicles.

Data source: Mitsubishi Motors.

28 August 2016

Italian Car Production (Brand) - 1951-60


I wish more associations were as open as ANFIA. It allows us to peer into the past and see how things were. From it we see the Italian car industry rising from the ashes of WWII. It's surprising how quickly things picked up from the wreckage wrought on Europe not many years earlier.

Fiat of course was the mainstay of the automotive industrial revival, accounting for 84% of the volume for this ten year period. Lancia started as the second brand but was passed by Alfa Romeo through the decade. Autobianchi was part owned by Fiat and made slightly pricier cars than the equivalent Fiat model. Innocenti just started in 1960 making BMC vehicles under licence.

Ferrari and Maserati were of a similar size and the latter just edged ahead by 1960. Iso made the Isetta Bubble Car although the figures her don't quite add up to me.

Over 2.8 million cars were made, Fiat making just over 2.5 million of them. Things were looking better as commerce got back to normal and and more people were able to consider buying a new car.

Yr Fiat Alfa Lancia Auto - Inno- Mas - Ferr - ISO Other Total
Romeo bianchi centi erati ari


51 108,889 1,420 8,614 - - 26 83 - 235 119,267
52 101,659 3,514 8,034 - - 6 90 - 350 113,653
53 132,061 3,477 7,658 - - 20 85 - 297 143,598
54 163,561 3,826 11,782 - - 61 66 1,298 272 180,866
55 218,082 5,919 6,572 - - 111 73 105 126 230,988
56 262,143 11,748 5,746 - - 119 110 17 26 279,909
57 290,672 16,675 10,269 750 - 72 122 - 231 318,791
58 327,049 20,580 10,239 10,898 - 105 149 - 366 369,386
59 412,682 32,089 12,130 12,655 - 249 248 - 621 470,674
60 500,527 57,870 21,022 14,787 870 402 306 - 139 595,923
Av 251,733 15,712 10,207 9,773 870 117 133 473 266 282,306

Data source: ANFIA

Brand Series - Uber Luxury


We now look at the final in the series, the über luxury marques. This sort of car sells to people who may view the purchase of a Rolls Royce in the same way as most of us would buying a sandwich for lunch. In other words, for those whom spending money isn't an issue they need to fret about. They may also own several cars.

Most luxury brands are doing very well but it isn't as easy making a success of things as we may think. Boxes have to be ticked. So what are the necessary things to get right?

Brand image. This is the first one and the most important. Buying a fabulous car that no one has heard of or holds little cachet won't work. Daimler tried with Maybach but the well heeled didn't fall for it.

Modern. The marque is critical, but customers still want up to date styling and technology. Aston Martin has struggled to keep up with replacing car platforms but are now dealing with that. They got away with it but a few more years of the 'same old, same old' and they would have suffered.

Trends. Even for this sort of car, being one step ahead of the competition is very helpful. Suddenly it has been realised that SUV über luxury is 'in'. Bentley were an early entrant with the Bentayga and other are rushing into the segment with haste. Miss the trend and it will be costly.

Summary: I have a confession to make. I don't live in the rarefied air of people that buy über luxury items. To me, buying a new car of any description is a major deal. I even strive to cultivate simple tastes and value a modest lifestyle. I am lucky enough to live in a country where such is attainable, without fear of poverty.

So am I qualified to write about this subject? One thing I do know is that selling 'luxury' has to be done right.

Mitsubishi MPV Production By Model : 1997-2014

Allowing for the fact that Mitsubishi's small MPVs are under the Kei car category for this series, then these are the larger multi purpose vehicles. Often around the 10% of total Mitsubishi production, from 2005 they have been minimal in their contribution. I assume the volumes they sold in made a business case hard to justify.

The first up is the Freeca aka the Adventure among a host of other names. It is a compact 5-door model made for the Asian region so don't be concerned if it passed under your radar. Next up the Zinger, a name that makes me think of chicken burgers for some reason. Slightly larger than the Freeca, it was made in Taiwan and China for the Asian market also, This sort of vehicle sells well in Asia.

The Grandis was another similar sized vehicle, that replaced the long running Chariot (Space Wagon & Nimbus were other names). It was sold around the world and the production numbers show the positive effect of that. The Dion was yet another compact model which was made in modest numbers, the automotive equivalent of a belly flop in diving.

The Grandis model was quite successful

A mini MPV built in Europe for that region was the Space Star which was reasonably popular. Last but not least the RVR when it was an MPV in its earlier form. It was introduced in 1991 and lasted until 2002. It was also called a Space Runner and in addition was sold as a Dodge, Eagle and Plymouth.

On the chart, the numbers on the extreme right are the percentage of total MMC production volume for this type of vehicle.


Freeca Zinger Grandis Dion Space RVR Total %
Advent Chariot - Star Space R
97 - 4,914 59,448 - - 22,861 87,223 6
98 6,308 16,008 88,251 - 13,305 13,976 137,848 10
99 11,622 14,653 63,010 15,282 58,383 20,333 183,283 14
00 27,645 17,044 26,734 30,977 30,116 4,028 136,544 10
01 12,490 13,531 19,098 9,699 44,908 1,416 101,142 8
02 17,411 12,537 27,862 5,696 46,824 241 110,571 8
03 11,271 11,800 52,316 1,881 40,807
118,075 10
04 11,538 11,359 55,286 2,697 24,315
105,195 10
05 6,701 12,479 50,988 1,797 -
71,965 6
06 4,560 4,791 25,636 - -
34,987 3
07 6,033 6,682 23,962 - -
36,677 3
08 4,570 3,515 11,186 - -
19,271 2
09 5,986 6,574 10,053 - -
22,613 3
10 7,390 6,588 7,606 - -
21,584 2
11 6,712 5,531 1,510 - -
13,753 1
12 6,062 5,382 1,304 - -
12,748 1
13 7,154 4,907 475 - -
12,536 1
14 6,237 5,021 - - -
11,258 1

Summary: The larger MPV within the Mitsubishi range has come in many forms over the years but seems to have run its course for the company. The numbers were not enough to justify the capital investment I would say.

Data source: Mitsubishi Motors.