Mitsubishi Announces Best Sales in Twelve Months

Late winter tends to be good for Mitsubishi Motors North America, as the 6,051 autos sold in February, 2013 marks the highest total since March, 2012. This was an increase of almost 28 percent over the same period in 2012

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2013 Lancer

The Lancer leads all models in the rebound department, with an increase of 89 percent over last February and an astounding 97 percent year-to-date.

The Outlander is also quickly putting 2012 behind it, as it had a monthly improvement of 92 percent and is up 51 percent for the year. The Outlander Sport has added another month to its streak, which now stands at 6 months of consecutive growth. The Normal, IL manufactured CUV logged a 20 percent improvement over February 2012.

The i-MiEV continues to sell, as 337 more people went electric last month.

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This is the new concept car that Mitsubishi plans to unveil at the Bangkok Auto Show at the end of this month called the G4 for Global 4-door, many believe it hints at a planned redesign of the Lancer. The headlights seem to take its cues from the new Mirage, which is set to be available in the U.S. this fall.

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Thirty Months of Success

February 2013 was the thirtieth consecutive month of growth for Volkswagen America. It was also the best February since 1973. The Tiguan also had its best February ever, as it was up 11 percent over 2012.

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As a fleet, Volkswagen was up 3 percent over last February, and almost 5 percent year-to-date. The Jetta, as usual, led with nearly 12,000 sold. Those numbers include the SportWagen, which was up 37 percent compared to February 2012, and was recently named the “2013 Best Overall Value of the Year in the Compact Crossover/Wagon Class by IntelliChoice.”

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The Beetle and Beetle Convertible will be joined this fall by the he GSR (Gelb Schwarzer Renner or “Yellow Black Racer”) and, in the meantime, they are up 187 percent over February 2012.

The Golf family is also growing as Volkswagen has announced two limited-editions of the GTI, the GTI Wolfsburg Edition and GTI Driver’s Edition. The Wolfsburg should be here any day, and the Driver’s will roll in during the summer. Currently the Golf is up 44 percent, while the variants are down slightly. This time next year, Volkswagen will start producing the Golf here in North America.

The Passat, which is already made here, was the second-best seller, with 7,532 units moved and almost 40 percent of those were diesel. Fleet wide, diesel sales represented more than 22 percent

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Mitsubishi’s Future is Electric

Just as the i-MiEV is picking up steam, Mitsubishi is unveiling two new concepts at the Geneva Auto Show next month.  The Concept CA-MiEV is a larger offering than the ground-breaking i-MiEV, but it is also more efficient. The concept is reported to get 186 miles on a single charge during moderate driving conditions, an improvement of over 70 miles in rage.

The second, the Concept GR HEV, is a diesel hybrid pickup with four-wheel drive capability. Mitsubishi promises this will be the most efficient vehicle in its class.

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The Outlander Sport has been a sure thing for Mitsubishi since before it left the factory and hit the lots. It continues to lead the way for the brand. Outlander Sport sold 1,350 units for the month, an increase of almost 21 percent compared to January 2012.

Its cousin, the Mitsubishi Outlander is the recipient of the coveted 2013 Kelley Blue Book “5-Year Cost to Own Award: Mid-Size SUV/Crossover.”

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Rio is the “Best Subcompact Car”

Every year Motorweek conducts its Driver’s Choice Awards which has 13 different lifestyle categories. They select the best vehicle in every category, based on evaluations of performance, technology, practicality, value and driving experience. This year they chose the 2013 Rio as their “Best Subcompact Car.” This marks the second year in a row that the Rio has won a Driver’s Choice Award.

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Kia debuted the 2013 Forte 5-Door at the Chicago Auto Show this week. When it becomes available this fall the SX trim level will have an all-new 1.6L gasoline direct-injected (GDI) turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 201 horsepower. The EX trim is no slouch either as it sports a 2L GDI four-cylinder engine that will have 173 horsepower. The EX will come loaded with all of the extras you expect from Kia, while the SX adds things like sports brakes to rein in those extra horses. Pricing details should be available late this summer.

Chicago is also getting a visit from the Man of Steel as the Superman Optima Hybrid becomes the most recent “We Can Be Heroes” Kia.

 

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This Super-hybrid represents Superman’s protection of earth with its eco-friendly powertrain, red cape-like accents on the trunk and upper doors, and the iconic S on its hood. There’s also a custom “indestructible” interior, adjustable suspension and custom fenders that give it a “muscled” look.

 

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Best U.S. Year Since 1973 for Volkswagen

2012 was a year of superlative statistics for the automaker. The 438,133 units sold was a 35 percent increase over 2011, and was double the amount sold in 2009. December was a strong month as well, the 44,005 vehicles purchased was a 35.4 percent increase; passing the mark set in 1973, and nearing 1970’s totals. December marked 28 consecutive months of growth in the U.S.

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The Jetta led all sales (paired with the SportWagen and the newly introduced Jetta Turbo Hybrid) for 2012. Its number of 146,478 was more than a quarter of all Volkswagen sales. It also beat last December’s numbers by 8.9 percent

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The U.S. made Passat closed out 2012 with a 110 percent increase over last December, and a 412 percent over 2011 as a whole. The 117,023 Passats sold in 2012 was the best year ever for the sedan.

The Beetle made a strong comeback, and the Golf, Tiguan, and Touareg also had good years and good Decembers. TDI versions of all models accounted for one-fifth of total sales for the year.

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Sorento and Sportage named as “Best Values”

Strategic Vision has been releasing its Total Value index for 16 years, and this year there was some good news for Kia. Both the Sportage and the Sorento were winners of their segments. They considered over 350 vehicles in 23 different segments. The Sorento topped the Mid-sized Traditional SUV, and the Sportage had the honors in the Entry Utility category. The Sorento scored 776 out of 1000 on the Total Value Index, the average being 741. The Sportage also had 776, while the average for its category was 725. The Hyundai Equus had the best score of 839 in the Luxury segment, the average was 782.

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Combined, Kia and Hyundai had five cars ranked number one. That number was good for second place; beating the world’s number one and number two top automakers.

Along with being in the news, Kia has made some news recently. Kia Motors America has become a founding partner of the relocated College Football Hall of Fame. Leaving this month from South Bend, IN, it will have a new home in Atlanta, GA;  just a four hour drive from Charlotte, and only eighty miles from where the Optima and Sorento are manufactured.

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“We are honored to have Kia as the Official Automotive Partner of the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta,” said John Stephenson, Interim Executive Director of Atlanta Hall Management.  “Kia’s commitment to the state of Georgia and their ardent support of college athletics make them a perfect fit for the Hall.”

Kia also is the “Official Automotive Partner” of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and a sponsor of the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl and 2013 Outback Bowl.

The newly located hall will open in 2014.

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IIHS Top Safety Awards Go to Mitsubishi

For the second year in a row, the Outlander Sport has been honored with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest honor. The compact SUV meets these very high standards while still retailing for less than 20,000. Not only will this vehicle save your life, it will also save your wallet, as it achieves 31MPG on the highway.

Word is spreading about the Illinois-made Mitsubishi, November sales were up 34.2 percent compared to last year’s numbers, and it remains the top selling model for the brand.

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Not to be outdone, the Lancer also pulled in a Top Safety nod from the IIHS. The sedan version, along with the five-door Lancer Sportback, has now been selected six years in a row. The Lancer is still doing well in the sales department too, increasing last November’s totals by 16.3 percent.

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The enthusiast favorite Lancer Evolution continues to gain fans. It also showed an increase over last November, growing by 9.1 percent.

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