There’s a good reason Mitsubishi dealerships seem to sell everything but Mitsubishis these days.

Go used car shopping today or drive by your town’s row of dealerships and you’ll inevitably walk into or pass by your local Mitsubishi dealership.

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You’ve also probably noticed Mitsubishi dealerships have a lot of used cars on their lots, more than actual new Mitsubishis.

Take for example this Mitsubishi dealership in Southern California, for every new Mitsubishi they have more than 3 used cars.

South Coast Mitsubishi

On top of that, a lot of Mitsubishi dealerships stock exotic, high-end cars, too.

So, why do Mitsubishi dealerships seem to sell everything but Mitsubishis these days?

Here are several of the main ones.

Mitsubishi dealerships need to supplement their new car inventories.

Mitsubishi new and used car lots used to be filled with mostly Mitsubishis not too long ago.

But, for several reasons, most notably bad loan lending practices, a recall cover-up scandal, and a sub-par lineup that couldn’t compete against the likes of Honda and Toyota, Mitsubishi lost relevance in the U.S. Market.

To stay afloat and somewhat relevant, Mitsubishi discontinued much of its lineup including cars like the Lancer, Eclipse, Galant, Montero, and Montero Sport leaving us with its semi-competitive lineup today.

Mitsubishi also closed many of its long-established dealerships.

Today, there are only about 300 Mitsubishi dealerships open, down from a high of 632 Mitsubishi dealerships 20 years ago.

According to Good Car Bad Car, Mitsubishi (in 2021) accounts for .68 percent of the sales volume for the US Automotive Market.

That’s right, point six-eight.

Since there just isn’t enough volume moving off dealership floors, Mitsubishi dealership franchise owners need to fill inventories with whatever they can get.

And that means filling those empty lot spaces with used cars.

Opening or acquiring a Mitsubishi Franchise is a good strategy if you want to sell used cars.

If you want to partner with the big banks to offer Prime and Sub-Prime loans, who do you think banks are more likely to partner with?

A1 Auto Sales of [Insert your town here]

or

Mitsubishi of Anytown USA.

Although Mitsubishi has a lackluster lineup, they are an established name in the automotive industry with backing from the Mitsubishi parent company.

A strategy for seasoned used car dealers who want to level-up is to buy one of these Mitsubishi franchises to get their feet wet in “the big leagues.”

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With better access to prime banks, Mitsubishi name recognition, and willingness to sell Mitsubishi cars, a brand a lot of multi-dealership conglomerates stay away from, former “Buy-Here-Pay-Here” used car dealers gain access to more resources and, a trustworthy, polished look.

Eventually, if they want to step away from used cars into new cars and want to acquire a better franchise opportunity with a more successful manufacturer like Toyota, Honda, or Ford, those larger, new car manufacturers are more likely to work with someone with actual franchise experience…even if it is Mitsubishi.

When you start to think of Mitsubishi dealerships as that in-between step between independent used car dealer and new car dealership, its unique place in the totem pole of new car dealerships starts to make sense.

A clearinghouse for used cars

Oftentimes, Mitsubishi dealerships are part of a larger dealer network (dealerships in the area that happen to have the same name attached to them.)

As such, these Mitsubishi dealerships act as a giant clearinghouse or catch-all for used cars.

A Mitsubishi dealership might also pivot to cater to the local market, carve out a niche, so to speak. It’s not uncommon to find a Mitsubishi dealership in the Southwest that sells a lot of lifted trucks and SUVs.

Mitsubishi dealerships = exotic used car dealership?

Not only do Mitsubishi dealerships sell used cars, you probably noticed they sell a lot of expensive cars.

In order to maximize profits, Mitsubishi dealerships in well to do areas will specialize in high end vehicles.

Here’s what this Mitsubishi dealer ship in Port Richey, Florida has that’s over $100,000.

Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, and Bentleys?

If you’re going to sell used cars, you might as well sell the ones with the highest profit margins.

Conclusion

That’s mainly why Mitsubishi dealerships sell used cars, to offset low sales of new Mitsubishis, you have to sell used cars to survive.

Or, if used cars is what you want to sell, it’s a step-up from an only-used car dealership.

Eventually, if you want to get into the new car market franchise, Mitsubishi serves as a better entry point than coming in with no franchise experience.

If history played out differently and Mitsubishi didn’t implode in the mid-2000s, some other manufacturer would be in Mitsubishi’s place today.

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