Mitsubishi Motors South Africa appoints new MD

  • Thato Magasa appointed as new Managing Director for Mitsubishi Motors SA
  • Magasa officially assumed full responsibility from 1 March 2021
  • Replaced Pedro Pereira, who has been in the role since 2015

JOHANNESBURG – Mitsubishi Motors South Africa has announced the appointment of its new Managing Director Thato Magasa.

As MMSA Chairman I am pleased to announce the appointment of Thato Magasa as the new Managing Director for Mitsubishi Motors SA, Thato officially assumed full responsibility within his new role from the 1st of March 2021.

Magasa succeeds Pedro Pereira, who had been in the role since 2015.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pedro for his invaluable contribution to the Mitsubishi brand.

“After being with the Motus Group (the holding company of Mitsubishi SA) since 2004 in various executive roles including Managing Director of SsangYong and Daihatsu, Pedro has moved to the C2 Technology Group as Chief Operating Officer,” says Oosthuizen.

The C2 Group is focussed on digital innovation within the motor and allied industries.

The new Mitsubishi MD Thato is no stranger to the automotive industry and has worked in numerous roles within the Motus Group since he first joined the company in 2009.

Following a short break in 2012, he returned to the Motus Group holding various roles at Mitsubishi Motors South Africa, including that of Operations Manager, and then moved to another senior role within the Motus Group – this time at Renault South Africa.

Prior to this, Magasa had been the General Manager for Sales at Renault SA, after completing a 12-month development programme within the Renault Group. He also holds a B-Com Accounting degree and acquired his MBA at GIBS in South Africa.

Magasa is extremely enthusiastic about the challenge on hand, and has made a great start within this new position.

“Having spent a large part of my career working at challenger brands, I have always found that it is undoubtedly the people within the organisation who make the difference,” he says. “I am highly passionate about the continuous development of people towards the achievement of organisational goals. Our end goal is to offer a consistently high-quality retail and ownership experience of our vehicles, which will be heavily reliant on our people – both within Mitsubishi Motors SA and the dealer network at large.”

In July 2020, the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) headquartered in Japan, announced a three-year mid-term business plan (from fiscal year 2020 to 2022), to concentrate its management resources on core regions and technologies, including Africa.

“We look forward to Thato’s positive input in his new role and the growth of the Mitsubishi brand going forward and wish Pedro every success in his new position” said Oosthuizen.

Mitsubishi’s all-new Xpander is a new breed of lifestyle-oriented MPV

  • All-new Xpander a hit in virtually every country where it is sold
  • Designed to cater to the active lifestyles of modern families
  • Impressive list of comfort and safety features as standard

JOHANNESBURG – Combining the traditional versatility and practicality of a multipurpose vehicle (MPV) with the rugged and sporty looks of a sport-utility vehicle (SUV), Mitsubishi’s all-new seven-seater Xpander is set to take the highly competitive South African market by storm.

“As the name suggests, the much anticipated Xpander is all about broadening one’s horizons, whether that be in terms of lifestyle choices, or family dynamics,” explains Nic Campbell, General Manager of Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA). “With the introduction of this very exciting addition to our line-up, we hope to strengthen our positions in both the MPV and compact SUV segments of the local market.”

The interior of the new Xpander might be all MPV, but the exterior screams SUV, so it’s equally well suited to everyday commuting, family road trips and leisure activities. In addition, its stylish ruggedness and practicality means you can take on a variety of terrains in confidence, without having to compromise on comfort.

With a turning circle of 5.2 metres, the Xpander handles with the agility of a much smaller vehicle. The suspension in the Xpander has been solidly reinforced which enhances the driving comfort. The quality construction and comprehensive anti-noise and anti-vibration measures make this vehicle stand out from the rest. “Our recent sales figures prove that we are getting the mix right in terms of our model range and our target markets. The Xpander will undoubtedly appeal to buyers with active lifestyles who are looking for something a little different to what our main competitors in the segment are offering,” Campbell says.

There are two models in the local line-up. Both feature a 1.5-litre engine and main difference between the two is the use of either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.

Xpander history – wooing markets around the globe

Based on the XM Concept that was first showcased at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show in 2016, the production version of the Xpander debuted at the same event a year later, before going on sale in Indonesia. It caused such a stir at the Auto Show that more than 11 000 pre-orders were received. To meet this unexpectedly high local demand, the Mitsubishi Motors plant in Indonesia had to double its monthly production output.

The plant now feeds markets in the Philippines, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Bolivia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and South Africa. In 2019 the Xpander was Indonesia’s most exported car, with well over 64 000 units finding homes in countries abroad.

In the four years since the Xpander was launched in Indonesia, it has raked in numerous noteworthy awards and accolades.

In 2017 and 2018 it was crowned as the Car of the Year in an annual event held by the Automotive Journalists Forum (FORWOT) in Indonesia, and was also named Otomotif Tabloid’s Best Low MPV for 2018. In addition, readers of Gridoto.com voted it their Favourite Car.

Another key market for the Xpander is the Philippines and here, too, it has been honoured with various awards.

The Xpander – which is the best-selling MPV in the Philippines – was hailed as the 2019/2020 Automobile of the Year (AYO) in the standard category of the Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards (AFPCA), a public poll that aims to determine the country’s most popular automotive brands and models. It also won the Model of the Year and the Best Design awards in the category for MPV’s. In the 2020/2021 edition of the same awards, it walked off with the silverware as the MPV/Van of the Year.

In Vietnam it’s a very similar story, with the Xpander winning the coveted Car of the Year title for 2021 after scoring highly in the segment for small and medium MPV’s. The winner was determined through a voting system that involved the public as well as the media.

The Xpander also consistently appears on the Vietnamese list of top ten best-selling cars.

“The way in which other markets have reacted to the Xpander, as well as the host of awards it has won, is nothing short of impressive,” says Nic Campbell, general manager of Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA). We are, understandably, very excited to be able to add the Xpander to our local line-up of Mitsubishi products as we believe local buyers will embrace it with the same enthusiasm.

Exterior – a powerful first impression

The all-new Xpander boasts the kind of exterior styling that will get you noticed, whether you’re pulling into a picnic area or driving up to a luxury hotel.

At the heart of the modern yet practical look is Mitsubishi’s so-called Dynamic Shield Design, which is intended to express not only performance, but also protection. Front-face configurations of past-generation Mitsubishi models served to protect both the occupants and the vehicle. The new face with its black central area builds on this approach, but enhances it by adding a hint of sportiness and performance.

With sporty alloy wheels – 15-inch on the manual model and 16-inch of the automatic derivative – and wide flared fenders, the Xpander portrays toughness and power from the first glance. Crystal clear headlights, daytime running lights and L-illuminated LED taillights that extend onto the tailgate add to the overall look.

The Xpander’s higher ground clearance of 205 mm is another feature that is immediately noticeable and emphasises its sporty, but practical character.

Interior – ‘Omotenashi’ in every detail

Mitsubishi strongly believes in the principle of ‘Omotenashi’ – a Japanese word that captures the way in which Japanese hosts pay attention to detail and anticipate the needs of their guests. This approach is clearly evident in the cabin of the all-new Xpander, which provides ample space for up to seven adults to travel in comfort and style.

The flexible seating can be configured to suit a variety of needs, ranging from carrying passengers and luggage to transporting lifestyle-focused items. The second- and third-row seats have a 60/40 split, while the seats of the third row can be folded completely flat and stowed to create additional space in the cargo area. The latter also features a floor box with lid for safe storage of smaller items.

Occupant comfort is further enhanced through full automatic air-conditioning with a manual rear overhead cooler, electric windows all round, USB port in the front, 120 Watt power sockets to supply every row of seating and clever storage compartments under the seats to ensure that personal items are out of the way but within easy reach.

Driver comfort is ensured through a tilt and telescopic multifunction steering wheel that features Bluetooth voice control for hands-free communication and a multi-information display. The rear-view camera has a high resolution that delivers optimal visibility and a wide field of vision.

Performance – balancing power and efficiency

The all-new Xpander’s smooth performance, low fuel consumption and reduced noise are the result of its highly durable 1.5-litre DOHC 16-valve aluminium block engine. This spirited powerplant features Mitsubishi’s Intelligent Innovative Valve Timing Lift Electronic Control (MIVEC) system and ECI multipoint fuel injection and pushes out 77 kW at 6 000 r/min, with 141 Nm of peak torque on tap at 4 000 r/min.

With a fuel tank of 45 litres, average fuel consumption in a combined cycle is 6.9 litres/100 km for the manual model and 7.0 litres/100 km for the automatic derivative.

Safety – technology where it’s needed most

Befitting its status as a people carrier, the all-new Xpander features a range of innovative safety features as standard. Designed to protect not only the driver and passengers, but other road users as well, these include airbags for the driver and front passenger, seatbelt pre-tensioners with force limiters, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD), as well as an impact-absorbing structure at the front-end of the vehicle. Additional safety for young occupants is provided through ISOFIX child seat anchors.

The Xpander also benefits from an advanced all-direction collision reinforced impact safety evolution (RISE) body construction with side impact bars. Coming-home and welcome lights enhance the overall safety, security and practicality.

Warranty and service – added peace of mind

The new Mitsubishi Xpander is covered by a three-year/100 000 km manufacturer’s warranty and a two-year/30 000 km service plan. The price also includes five-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance. Service intervals are set at 15 000 km/1 Year whichever comes first.

Pricing

Xpander 1.5L M/T: R299 995

Xpander 1.5L A/T: R319 995

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