Mitsubishi hoping to hit 100,000 annual sales in the U.S. once again

Mitsubishi Motors North America said it is setting its sights on returning to 100,000 units sales in a calendar year. The Japanese brand has suffered a severe drop in volume in recent years.

“I”d say (we”ll hit the mark) probably within three years,” John Koenig, executive vice president-MMNA, told WardsAuto during an interview.

Mitsubishi sold only 53,986 vehicles in the U.S. last year, a whopping 44.5 percent below the 97,257 it sold in 2008. Volume in 2008 was also down from 2007, which was the last year Mitsubishi sold more than 100,000 vehicles in the U.S., 128,993 to be exact.

Of course all this looks really bad for a brand that sold 345,111 units as recently as 2002; however, Mitsubishi sales fell due to a fallout from its 0 percent financing incentive and as the U.S. auto industry faced one of the worst years ever in 2009.

Mitsubishi said that it will focus more on the retail segment with new models.

“We”ve assured (our dealers) we”re not leaving the North American market,” Koenig says. “That”s probably their biggest fear, because they”re reading about it in various journals.”

– By: Stephen Calogera