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Mitsubishi working on new car for India

Our Bureau

Bangalore , March 11

MITSUBISHI is planning to launch a new car in the executive segment which could hit the road in a year's time.

The Hindustan Motors Chief General Manager for Marketing, Mr K Chandran, told a press conference that work has started on launching a new car for India. "But it is at a nascent stage right now," Mr Chandran said. The new car would be in the executive segment, at a much higher range than the Lancer car which is in the mid-size segment. Hindustan Motors makes Lancer cars in India under a technical tie up with Mitsubishi. It will take nine to 12 months for the new car to hit the roads.

Mitsubishi does not have any plans to enter the small car segment as the ``segment was too crowded.'' Hindustan Motors has finetuned its marketing strategy and also made some changes in the pricing of Lancer variants in an attempt to sell more number of Lancer cars during 2004 to make up for the negative growth in 2003. In 2002, Hindustan Motors sold 4,500 Lancer cars but its sales dipped to 3,000 units in 2003. It now expects to sell 5,000 cars in 2004.

Mr Chandran said it had made some changes in the pricing of Lancer GL variant which now sells for Rs 6.5 lakh. This had doubled the sales of Lancer GL to around 100 per month. With the launch of new Lancer Invex 1.8 lt car, and diesel variants of Lancer, Hindustan Motors expects to sell more number of cars this year.

Priced at around Rs 8.97 lakh, Lancer Invex incorporates INVECS (intelligent and innovative electronic control system) technology. This technology provides the driver with both manual as well as automatic transmission. The choice of transmission enables the driver to select between a sports mode and an autopilot mode.

Hindustan Motors expects to sell around 1,500 units of Lancer Invex during the first year. The other variants of Lancer cars ares, Lancer GL, Lancer GLX, Lancer SLX, Lancer SFX, Lancer LE and `My Lancer'.

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