Mitsubishi Motors' United States operations, under new chief Finbarr O'Neill, is considering adoption of the extended five-year basic and 10-year powertrain warranties O'Neill introduced successfully at his former employer, Hyundai Motor America, The Car Connection (TCC) Web site reported Oct. 3.
TCC said the proposal was confirmed by O'Neill at the national Mitsubishi dealer meeting in Las Vegas last week - at which time it was also disclosed that the Japanese brand would re-enter the pickup truck market for the 2005 model year with a version of the redesigned Dodge Dakota.
The Web site said the dealers also had the chance to drive a restyled and substantially enlarged Galant sedan, Mitsubishi's top seller in the United States, which will go on sale in late October with a 2004 model year target of about 100,000 sales, up from a projected 2003 calendar year total of about 80,000.
According to The Car Connection, Mitsubishi officials attending a regional media preview of the new Galant in northern Virginia this week said that the financial losses of Mitsubishi's captive lender arm had been peeled back and the company's position "re-stabilized" for the 2004 model year, which began on Oct. 1.
A spree of defaults and delinquencies, after Mitsubishi pioneered no-payment-for-a-year loans at zero percent without down payments, led to the replacement of long-serving U.S. CEO Pierre Gagnon by O'Neill in August, TCC noted.