Mitsubishi's growth since the 1990s hasn't been as strong as some of the music in its commercials - but it has been there, and dealers have relished it.
The brand has moved from selling 261,254 new vehicles in the United States in 1999 to 345,111 in 2002.
With a 10-member dealer board that sits side-by-side with the 10-member executive team from Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc., dealers are pleased with their involvement in decision making.
Joe Mitchell, owner of two Mitsubishi stores in Illinois and a member of the dealer advisory board, which has no president, says both the factory and the dealers have dedicated themselves to improving customer satisfaction.
And they will have to do it amid a lot of other activity. In 2002, Mitsubishi overhauled the first of its stores through a new facilities and signage program. And with the Outlander and Endeavor sport wagons, the brand has begun a product blitz that it hopes will bring 500,000 sales annually by 2007.
Mitchell spoke with Staff Reporter Joe Kohn about the challenges facing Mitsubishi dealers as the brand looks forward to continued growth.