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Mitsubishi Motors releases new Triton pickup truck in Thailand



The new TRITON pickup truck
Tokyo, August 25, 2005 — Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (the Company) announced today the release on the Thailand market of the new "Triton" 1-ton pickup truck. Replacing the current Strada after a full redesign, the new Triton pickup is assembled at Mitsubishi Motors local facility in Laem Chabang, Thailand. Following the Thai launch, the company plans to start shipping this pickup model to other countries and regions, and thus, it is expected to play a major role in terms of the Company's global market strategy and of achieving the Mitsubishi Motors Revitalization Plan.

Triton has been developed as a global strategic model to the following three key concepts: 1. To fully satisfy user needs in terms of pickup economy, durability and reliability; 2. To offer levels of quality that further raise and consolidate the standing of the Mitsubishi Motors brand on a global scale; 3. To accommodate the needs of a broad customer base not limited to commercial use.
The major features that distinguish the new Triton pickup are: An original and stylish exterior/interior design that adds a sporty dash to pickup toughness; packaging that provides a best-in-class roomy interior living space; and suspension and interior appointments that realize sedan levels of comfort and ride. These elements serve both to highlight the originality and advanced qualities Triton brings to the pickup segment and also to eliminate the commonly held image of a pickup being a vehicle design purely for commercial use. As such, these characteristics are expected to make a major contribution in expanding the customer base for Mitsubishi brand pickup trucks.
Triton models are powered by a newly-developed common rail direct injection diesel engine that delivers high outputs while returning low consumption, clean emissions and quiet operation. Other customer-winning features include a new body with top-rating crashworthiness in the class and a Dakar Rally-honed four-wheel drive system that delivers outstanding all-surface performance. The attractive design and go-anywhere component specification puts the Triton next-generation pickup ahead of the market in all aspects of performance.

Mitsubishi Motors has made concerted efforts over recent years to strengthen the business base and boost the competitiveness of its operations in Thailand because the country constitutes both a major ASEAN bloc market for the Company in its global strategy and a production and export hub for supplying 1-ton pickup trucks to world markets.

The Company sold 39,564 vehicles on the Thai domestic market in fiscal 2004, a 17% increase on the previous year. By individual model, the Strada pickup truck accounted for 32,780 of those sales, an increase of 18%, despite the fact that it is approaching the end of its product life cycle. That Strada was able to realize this volume of sales in the face of increasing competition from rival models which have all recently undergone major redesigns is clear evidence that the Mitsubishi Motors brand is held in high regard in the Thai domestic market. Mitsubishi Motors is confident that the introduction of the new Triton will assure further growth for the Company in Thailand.
The Company projects monthly sales of 3,500 Triton pickups in the Thai domestic market.

In 1988 Mitsubishi Motors became the first Japanese manufacturer to start export shipments of vehicles produced locally in Thailand. Today, the Company ships from Thailand to over 140 countries and regions worldwide, Europe being one of its largest markets. Since the Company centralized its 1-ton pickup world production activities in Thailand in 1995 and supported by robust demand for Mitsubishi pickup trucks, export volume has grown steadily and reached a record level of 88,860 vehicles in fiscal 2004, up 30% over the previous year. In February 2005 the Company became the first automaker shipping from Thailand to top cumulative exports of 700,000 vehicles. As such Mitsubishi Motors can be seen to be making a major contribution to the Thai economy by promoting the Thai motor industry, by creating employment and by earning foreign exchange.

New Triton pickup truck: further details

  Lineup: Single cab (October), Mega cab and Double cab
Engines: New 2.5-liter and 3.2-liter turbocharged diesel with common rail injection (Mega and Double cab models)
Drive: 2WD and 4WD
Prices: Range from 548,000 to 898,000 THB (Mega and Double cab models)

Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (MMTh) profile

  Location: Head office: Phathumthanee, Thailand
Factory: Laem Chabang Factory, Laem Chabang Industrial Estate, Thailand
Date of establishment: January 1987
Capitalization: 7,000 million THB
President: Hisayoshi Kumai
Major shareholders: Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (99.8%)
Head count: 3,600
Models produced: Triton, L200 Strada (current pickup truck model for export),
Lancer, Space Wagon (Grandis in Japan)

MMTh production, sales and exports

Fiscal year 2002 2003 2004
Production volume
(of which, pickup trucks)
107,589
(100,034)
103,511
(95,680)
130,188
(120,572)
Sales volume
(of which, pickup trucks)
29,880
(22,978)
33,799
(27,817)
39,564
(32,780)
Export shipments
(of which, pickup trucks)
78,729
(77,285)
68,168
(66,244)
88,860
(86,367)
KD export shipments(pickup trucks only) 13,830 16,980 21,030

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