Locally Produced Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Launches In China

Alliance with Beijing Jeep breaks new ground
Tokyo - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and Beijing Jeep Corporation (BJC) today launched the first Mitsubishi Pajero Sport all-terrain vehicle to be assembled at BJC’s production facilities in Beijing.

The Pajero Sport, already enjoying strong sales in Europe and the United States, is the first locally manufactured MMC vehicle branded under the Mitsubishi name in China. MMC and BJC collaborated on over 100 technical renovations to the existing Pajero Sport to make it more suitable for Chinese road conditions and local driver requirements.

Local production of the SUV will allow MMC to respond quickly to the demands of the Chinese market and to upgrade its parts supply and inventory control.

"We expect to see rapid growth in China’s SUV market, and we believe that domestic production of the Pajero Sport places us in an ideal strategic position to tap into this emerging market," said MMC President and CEO Rolf Eckrodt. "The Pajero Sport, by offering a unique balance of power, performance, efficiency and extraordinary value, has what it takes to appeal to a broad spectrum of Chinese car buyers, whether they are attracted by utility, luxury, sportiness, safety, or spaciousness."

"The introduction of the domestically assembled Pajero Sport SUV underscores the success of the DaimlerChrysler-Mitsubishi Motors alliance in China, as well as the modernization of Beijing Jeep’s manufacturing facilities," said Chairman An Qingheng, Chairman of the Board of Beijing Jeep.

With its rugged off-road performance, urban look, bold design and distinctive styling, the Pajero Sport is an all-terrain SUV that has strong appeal to buyers looking for "sport" and those looking for "urban sophistication." Its compact exterior conceals a spacious and well-equipped interior. Its selectable four-wheel drive technology and powerful engine also give the Pajero Sport the potential to clear off-road obstacles.

Three different models of the Pajero Sport—the GLS3.0A, GLS3.0 and GLX2.4—are available, with two types of engines: a 3000cc, 24-valve V6 engine to be exported from Japan and a 2400cc, 16-valve four-cylinder engine to be produced in China.

In 2002, more than 70.000 MMC derived vehicles were sold in China. MMC is forecasting this figure to rise to more than 300,000 units by 2007. Locally produced vehicles like the Pajero Sport and the Outlander that will also be produced at BJC and launched in early 2004 will play a key role in achieving this target.

Published 17 March 2003 Melanie Carter

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