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After Suzuki retreat from U.S., speculation begins about Mitsubishi

Fri, 09 Nov 2012 15:26:14 CST
By: Charlie Schlenker

Automotive industry watchers are wondering whether Mitsubishi will follow Suzuki's recent announcement that it is leaving the North American auto market. Mitsubishi has a .4% market share and the lowest sales of any brand in the U-S and Canada except for Suzuki. Paul Eisenstein, an analyst for the Detroitbureau.com says linking the companies would be easy based on performance.

"The market has always been open to interesting new competitors. But it is very demanding of what they bring to the table. and if you are a damaged brand like Suzuki or Mitsubishi, if you don't really have something that just climbs above the rest of the pack, particularly in mainstream segments, then you simply are not going to be able to pull it off."

But, Eisenstein says Suzuki and Mitsubishi focused on different parts of the market. Suzuki has traditionally focused on very small vehicles and its attempt to introduce a mid sized car failed. Eisenstein does say Mitsubishi badly needs new product, particularly in a mainstream segment such as a sedan or coupe. Mitsubishi has felt compelled to respond to the speculation. Company President Osamu Masuko says Mitsubishi has no intention of withdrawing from the very important U-S market.

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