We spoke to the General Manager at Mitsubishi Motors South Africa, Nic Campbell, and now also the Sales and Marketing Manager at the brand. Dealerfloor got hold of him to ask him a few questions.
1: You are well known in die South African motor industry. Tell us a bit more about your career so far.
Before joining Imperial Daihatsu in early 2010 as Marketing Manager, I worked in sales and advertising in two large marketing firms.
The opportunity to join Imperial Daihatsu in 2010 paved the way for my career in the motor game. Through the years at Imperial Daihatsu, I was given the opportunity to work on a number of smaller brands and their launches in SA.
I involved myself in training and in sales and later ran the Sales Department at Daihatsu. From there I had a stint at Citroën South Africa as the national sales manager and later took on a role as a Regional Business Manager with PCSA.
In July 2016, I joined the Team at Mitsubishi as General Manager and certain African regions under the Motus umbrella.
2: What is your aim with your new, broader task portfolio? Any interesting plans with the brand in terms of dealerships?
My passion lies within sales and marketing, and I am very focus driven on results and volumes as I believe these factors are the basis of our game.
In the last four years, I have been completely amazed at the quality, passion and dedication of the Mitsubishi network and would rate it on a par with our biggest assets, along with the quality of our vehicles.
We currently have 41 selling dealers and 52 service centres across SA.
The aim has not changed over the last four years: we need to increase our market share to a value that is representative of our brand.
3: Your motto and management style?
GET IT DONE
4: Any new products coming this year or next year?
Pre-COVID-19, MMSA launched the new ASX, the new Outlander and the new Eclipse Cross. Midway COVID-19, MMSA has restarted the delayed year with special offers, plans for a host of new products and a renewed focus on customer satisfaction.
Some of the new models planned for the remainder of 2020 and early 2021 include:
One of the most anticipated newcomers in South Africa in the Mitsubishi stable is the new Xpander, which is making its local debut early in 2021.
For the immediate future, we are very excited about the Triton Xtreme, followed by the enhanced Pajero with the new 4x4 Exceed added to the range in South Africa before the end of the year.”
Other new models to arrive include the exciting Mitsubishi Xpander, a seven-seater compact MPV manufactured in Indonesia. This vehicle – only available in 4x2 – will be powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine coupled to manual or automatic transmission.
5: Any exciting news about possible alliances with other manufacturers like Nissan?
As mentioned before, our network is very stable. However, we will ALWAYS investigate new opportunities where we do not have representation.
6. To get to the heart and soul of South African car buyers – bakkies. You have introduced a special model in the Triton range. Are there plans to broaden the appeal of the Triton? In Australia the Triton is up there with the Hilux and Ranger in monthly sales. Also, if we think back at the popularity of the then Mitsubishi Colt-bakkies, what would it take to dramatically increase Triton sales?
Exactly right – In Australia we enjoy a very large market share, and I think this largely owing to a much bigger model range available. The South African consumer, much like a Springbok supporter is extremely brand loyal, and we have some excellent players in our segments that deserve their respect. Our job, albeit a tough one, is to convince the customer to put us on the shopping list.
We know the Colt was very popular and the cornerstone of the brand. However, owing to an international directive, we are not allowed to use the name. Although we only play in the luxury double cab segment, we are always in negotiations to expand the range.
7. What is the impact of the rand/dollar exchange rate and specifically complaints that spares are expensive compared to competitors?
The exchange rate is a huge factor, but so is the quality of parts. And comparing basket for basket and depending on who does the survey, we are okay by comparison.
8. How do you see the local motor industry overcome the damage caused by COVID-19 and how long to get back to market normality in terms of monthly sales and expansions?
Can’t give away too many secrets, but as we adapt, we will need to be more customer focused and deal with customers in a manner that makes them feel comfortable. Digital is the way forward with effortless transactions between the dealer and customers. Take cognisance of the burden this lockdown has put onto customers’ pockets and adapt accordingly.
9: Tell us a bit more about your family life, hobbies, sport?
I am a very passionate Springbok Rugby supporter, love all aspects of rugby. I play a little bit of golf and I run to keep fit. In my younger years, I managed to complete the Comrades three times and the Ironman twice. I am very family orientated with two beautiful young daughters.
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