Mitsubishi’s UK operation could be saved from the firm’s gradual pull-out of the European market by the owners of SsangYong.
Car Dealer magazine is reporting that Bassadone Automotive Group – the Gibaltar-based parent company of SsangYong’s UK operation – is in talks with Mitsubishi about taking over the UK distribution rights for the brand.
It’s suggested that the new deal would allow the Japanese brand to keep an operational foothold in the UK, following the announcement in July that Mitsubishi would cease developing new models for Europe and effectively leave the market.
The deal would not only allow an aftersales/servicing operation to continue, it would also allow Mitsubishi UK’s management to import and type approve new models for UK sale where appropriate. Bassadone Automotive Group would likely continue importing current Mitsubishi models until European production is phased out in 2022, when the dealer network would move to used sales and servicing.
Nick Laird, CEO of Bassadone Automotive Group, told Car Dealer that the two entities “are in discussions with each other”.
“No formal agreement has been reached” Laird elaborated. “We are both trying to work out a way for SsangYong and Mitsubishi to work together in the UK”.
It is claimed that the talks were masterminded by Laird and former Mitsubishi UK boss turned SsangYong GB chairman, Jim Tyrell. A Mitsubishi UK spokesperson declined to comment.
Mitsubishi freezes introduction of new models for Europe
Mitsubishi’s evolution: working for the Japanese brand in the UK
Mahindra seeks new owner for struggling SsangYong