Mitsubishi Motors North America will change the way it spends advertising funds to allow for the introduction of four products this year.
In the past, Mitsubishi's Tier 1 ads have covered product debuts as well as stirred interest in existing products. With the arrival of the Endeavor sport wagon, Lancer Evolution rally car, Lancer wagon and redesigned Galant, Mitsubishi will market only the new-vehicle introductions.
Mitsubishi's Tier 2 dealer marketing associations will be relied on to keep consumer interest simmering in older products such as the Montero and Eclipse, Greg O'Neill, president of Mitsubishi Motors North America, told dealers at the make meeting yesterday.
Funding for the dealer association ads is one-third from Mitsubishi, two-thirds from dealers.
Dealer council chairman Don Herring, who has two Mitsubishi stores near Plano, Texas, predicted "the biggest advertising commitment from Mitsubishi this year."
O'Neill said advertising expenses will rise 10 percent over 2002. Despite the product proliferation, Mitsubishi has the backing of the parent company to spend the appropriate funds to get all four introductions off the ground, he added.
That's a departure from the mid-1990s, when Mitsubishi's product lineup grew, but the marketing funds slowed to a trickle once the introductions were made.