To succeed, automotive brands must be blessed with perfect timing, whether it is entry into a market, the introduction of a new product or even a marketing initiative. One such example is Mitsubishi.
Trading as The Colt Car Company, Mitsubishi entered the UK in 1974. This was a point in history where the UK was steeped in recession, fuel costs were at an all-time high and the quality of some local offerings was wearing thin.
Mitsubishi came to market with the Colt, followed a little later by the Lancer and Galant – all of which were affordable, economical and reliable. The models’ success cemented Mitsubishi in the psyche of the UK car buyer.
A few years later, it spun a similar trick. As the dual purpose – or off-roader – market began to emerge in the early 1980s, Mitsubishi was ready with the Shogun.
Once more, at a time when the World Rally Championship attracted millions of viewers to the BBC in the mid-‘90s, and when petrolheads everywhere were fixated on mud-fraught battles between Makinen, McRae and Sainz, Mitsubishi was at the front of the pack. What’s more, enthusiasts could buy roadgoing versions of its rally champ – the Lancer Evolution.
Now, Mitsubishi has done it again. In a year when registrations of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) – that’s pure electric, plug-in hybrid and range extended electric vehicles – have seen a 265% increase in demand, Mitsubishi has launched the Outlander PHEV in the UK.
It isn’t just an increase in demand that makes the ULEV market so appealing; the choice for consumers is also burgeoning. Today there are 22 types of ultra low emission car on sale in the UK, compared to just six in 2011. Not only does this show that the world’s top car makers are serious about this technology, it means that consumers can choose an ultra low emission vehicle in almost every body style, including coupé, SUV and MPV.
What’s more, government continues to offer incentives for private and fleet buyers alike. All motorists can receive up to £5,000 off the list price of a ULEV thanks to the Plug-in Car Grant, as well as 75% towards a home charger. Breaks in Benefit in Kind (BiK) tax, company car tax and capital allowances mean that business drivers also stand to benefit a great deal.
Add to this the fact that motorists have access to around 8,000 public chargepoints across the UK, and can run their cars from as little as 2p per mile, and it’s clear to see why this is the fastest-growing vehicle segment in the UK.
Mitsubishi is currently displaying its Outlander PHEV, ASX and 1974 Lancer at SMMT’s Westminster headquarters.
For more about ultra low emission vehicles, visit Go Ultra Low, a one-stop shop for information on pure electric, plug-in hybrid and range-extended electric vehicles.