First locally-assembled Mitsubishi ASX rolls-out!

From L-R Mr. Kozo Shiraji, Mr. Morikazu Chokki, Mr. Tetsuya Oda, Dato Rosie Tan & Mr. Jason Shang of TCMA

Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM), the official importer distributor of Mitsubishi vehicles in Malaysia, officially rolled off the first locally-assembled Mitsubishi ASX today at a ceremony to mark the start of production in Malaysia. Present to officiate the event was Mr. Morikazu Chokki, Senior Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), Mr. Kozo Shiraji, Executive Vice President of Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), and Mr. Tetsuya Oda, Chief Executive Officer of MMM (below). Also present was Deputy Managing Director of Tan Chong Motors Assemblies (TCMA), Dato Rosie Tan.

CEO of MMM, Mr. Tetsuya Oda

The 2014 ASX mid-size SUV is contract assembled at the Segambut plant of Tan Chong Motor Assemblies Sdn Bhd (TCMA). The initial production volume is 5,000 units per annum. The 2014 ASX is the first Mitsubishi vehicle to be assembled in Malaysia. The move to assemble in this country is in line with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s (MMC) major strategic pillar to concentrate business resources on emerging markets. ASEAN and Malaysia is a vital component in MMC’s “New Stage 2016” business plan.

Senior Executive Officer of MMC, Mr. Morikazu Chokki

MMC’s “New Stage 2016” business strategy focuses mainly on strengthening MMC’s operating base in the ASEAN region. Local production and sales of the ASX in Malaysia will be one of key tactics in the implementation of this crucial strategy. MMC will work to strengthen its operations by improving the Mitsubishi Motors brand in emerging markets with promise of future growth.

“Today is a milestone moment for Mitsubishi in Malaysia. MMM was set up in 2005, and we have grown from strength to strength through the years with more than 70,000 Mitsubishi cars on the road. But today is a special moment for us as we’re witnessing the first ‘birth’ of a Mitsubishi in Malaysia,” said Oda.

He added, “All cars produced by Mitsubishi Motors worldwide are governed by the same high standards that ensure consistent quality. The ASX that is locally assembled in Malaysia will have the same quality level with the ASX made in Japan,” he assured, adding that MMC personnel from Japan are stationed at the local production line to oversee quality control and processes.

The ASX was developed to combine the utility and practicality of an SUV with the comfort of a sedan in just the right size, with high ride point, easy maneuvering, good handling and comfort for active driving fun. The 2014 ASX mid-size SUV is powered by a 2.0-litre MIVEC engine with 150 PS of power and 197 Nm of torque. Two variants are available – 2WD and 4WD – and both use a smooth INVECS-III CVT (continuous variable transmission) with Sports Mode.

Prices start from RM114,743.50 for the 2WD variant, while the 4WD is priced at RM128,879.50, both on the road without insurance. Available in four colours – Black Mica, Titanium Grey, Cool Silver and Solid White – the ASX comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty. Safety wise, the ASX comes with three airbags, ABS and EBD are standard across the range, while the 4WD variant adds on Traction Control, Active Stability Control (ASC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA). The agile and easy handling ASX has a class leading turning radius of 5.3 meters.

Both CKD (completely knocked down) ASX variants are equipped with automatic lights and wipers (auto rain and light sensors), leather seats, GPS navigation, front and rear parking sensors with reverse camera, automatic air conditioning and a high contrast instrument panel. Exclusive equipment for the 4WD includes a panoramic roof, steering paddle shifters, push start button and solar/security window tint. With attractive pricing coupled with generous equipment, we believe that the ASX will appeal to Malaysian consumers. Our sales target is 400 units per month, aiming for 20% market share of the mid-sized SUV segment,” Oda revealed.

 Before the CKD introduction, the fully-imported 2WD ASX from Japan was priced at RM 139,981.50 on the road without insurance. Since it’s launched in November 2010, the ASX has sold close to 3,000 units. MMM’s sales forecast is 13,000 units in its Financial Year 2013 (April 2013- March 2014), for a market share of 4.0% in the non-national segment.

In the last Financial Year 2012 (April 2012-March 2013), Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia sold 12,600 units, with the market share of 4.0% in the non-national segment, and top 5 non-national brand in the segment. Since 2005, MMM has sold more than 70,000 units in Malaysia. Current line-up of vehicles include the Mirage compact hatchback, Lancer GT sedan, ASX mid-sized SUV, Triton pick-up trucks, Pajero Sport and Pajero Exceed SUVs, 100% electric car i-MiEV and the newly launched Attrage compact sedan.

To date, Mitsubishi Motors operates 57 showrooms (out of which 40 are 3S Centres) and 50 service outlets throughout Malaysia. MMM plans to open 62 by December 2014.