Mitsubishi integrates global motorsport activity

Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors is transforming its motorsport strategy by creating a German HQ to coordinate an integrated 'business of sport' approach to its global competition, marketing and product development programmes. The MMSP motorsport organisation will be operational next year in Trebur, near Frankfurt, and headed by experienced German automotive industry executive Sven Quandt

Mitsubishi integrates global motorsport activity

Ulrich Walker, Mitsubishi's executive VP responsible for car operations, said: "We are kickstarting a new era with a determination to prove that Mitsubishi is in the business of motorsport. [MMSP will be] a unique tool, a global motorsport system generating efficiency, brand consistency and motorsport magic for customers, competitors and the our company alike."

Walker said that MMSP would particularly seek an upturn in the performance of the World Rally Championship programme, which is run out of Rugby, UK, by Ralliart Europe. He said: "We have a clear strategy which requires mid-term success. We have already had tri-partite talks in Japan with the Rugby team and Japanese engineers to discuss improving systems and streamlining lines of communication." He added that the reorganisation offered Ralliart Europe, under chairman Andrew Cowan, "a great chance." It will be encouraged to produce more WRC and Group N rally cars for customers.

Quandt, the son of BMW founder Herbert Quandt who has successfully competed in rally-raid Pajeros, described his role as: "Making motorsport an integral part of Mitsubishi's global business. It will cover our corporate landscape including product development, marketing and PR, accessories, parts, merchandising and services to customers and motorsport competitors. These are radical plans with full support at the highest level within the company. We must maintain a link between the cars we rally and the cars we sell. We will not forget those who love to see a little bit of motorsport magic incorporated into road cars."

Pivotal to the new 'nerve centre' will be high-performance model derivatives which will be introduced to the range starting in early 2004. Mitsubishi Motor Sales Europe CEO Stefan Jacoby said: "Defining an all-new product line-up is our highest priority. These products are the most important part of our future in Europe."

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