While we're busy anticipating the upcoming all-electric i-MiEV, Mitsubishi is enjoying sales of the standard liquid fueled-version in the UK. The company announced today that it sold 300 of these tiny i City Cars in two-and-a-half weeks and expects to sell 1,500 units in the UK next year. Buyers are telling Mitsubishi that "compact size, price, specification, environmental credentials and styling" are the reasons for choosing the i City Car. A huge percentage of the i City Car buyers, 83 percent, switched brands to buy a Mitsubishi for the first time, which to me speaks volumes about the power that vehicles designed for the city have a lot of potential as more and more people realize they don't need a huge honker most days in town. In face, 76 percent of the i's buyers were town and city dwellers, Mitsubishi says.

Not everyone has had a chance to drive the different powerplants that are or will be available in the i, but the UK magazine CAR has. They enjoyed the electric version more than the petrol one, so perhaps we'll see even quicker sales of the EV when it hits showrooms in a few year's time.

[Source: Mitsubishi]
MITSUBISHI i CITY CAR – A RUN-AWAY SALES SUCCESS
  • Run-away sales success for Mitsubishi's new i City Car
  • First batch of 300 sold out in 2½ weeks – with 50% of second batch already sold
  • 83% of sales are conquest business
  • Compact size, price, specification, environmental credentials and styling are all top purchase reasons
Mitsubishi's new i City Car has been a run-away success since it was launched in the UK in July 2007.

The first batch of 300 units sold out within two and a half weeks of going on sale, and over 50% of the second batch have been sold before the vehicles even hit UK soil. Over 1,500 units are already planned for sale in 2008, with more available if sales continue to be strong.

Mitsubishi has conducted extensive research of i's customers, discovering that 83% of buyers were not previously Mitsubishi owners. They also surveyed the key factors influencing the purchase decision. The vehicle's compact size was the most important factor, with price and high specification coming second. The car's environmental credentials and styling were also rated in the top 5 reasons for the vehicle's sales success.

Town and city dwellers accounted for 76% of buyers, predominantly in the South East of England where the threat of additional tax and Congestion Charges loom on the horizon.

Lance Bradley, Mitsubishi's Sales and Marketing Director, remarked that "we have proven that Mitsubishi can successfully operate in multiple industry segments. The i has successfully showcased Mitsubishi's environmental credentials in advance of a range of clean diesel vehicles and even the amazing zero-emission electric i in the next two years."

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