Rescue talks between SsangYong and market-exiting Mitsubishi to secure the future of the Japanese brand in the UK have collapsed.
Industry publication Car Dealer Magazine reports that the negotiations fell apart over pricing, with both parties being ‘worlds apart’ on the perceived value of the Mitsubishi brand.
A senior SsangYong source told Car Dealer: “The talks have broken down – it’s not happening. We couldn’t get close. We made an offer, they made a counteroffer and it was clear we were worlds apart.”
Mitsubishi announced in July that it will withdraw from the UK, spelling the end of the L200 pickup and Outlander commercial 4×4. The news left the Colt Car Company, the UK distributors of Mitsubishi vehicles, determined to continue to support the brand as a parts and service supplier.
SsangYong’s interest would have allowed it to expand its dealer network but, while it now won’t be able to acquire all of the dealerships facing an end to Mitsubishi supplies, it is continuing with signing up individual dealers to its network.
“We have already taken on 10 Mitsubishi dealers and are in talks with 20 more,” said Car Dealer Magazine’s SsangYong source. “The Mitsubishi network is falling apart, some have gone to Suzuki, others to MG and Hyundai. We’re confident we’ll get a lot of them across anyway.”
The future of the Colt Car Company is now uncertain, with redundancies already being made. However, plans to introduce other manufacturers into the UK, with some Chinese brands approached, continue in a bid to secure a future for the firm.
“Although there has been dialogue with interested parties regarding aspects of the Mitsubishi Motors in the UK business, the decision has now been made not to progress these conversations further,” said a Mitsubishi spokesperson.
“In the coming months Mitsubishi Motors in the UK will begin its transition into an aftersales business, backed by its majority shareholder Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, to ensure the 350,000 Mitsubishi drivers on UK roads have full support in terms of parts, accessories, maintenance, warranty, recalls and repairs well into the future.”