Pricing experts at Cap HPI have played down the potential of Mitsubishi’s decision to exit the UK having a negative impact on residual values (RVs).
The manufacturer unexpectedly announced it was pulling out of both UK and European markets, with stocks of existing models, including the popular Outlander PHEV and L200 pick-up, continuing to be sold until they no longer meet emissions regulations.
Aftersales support will be provided by existing dealers and the Colt Car Company, which imports Mitsubishi vehicles to the UK.
Andrew Mee, head of forecast UK at Cap HPI, told Fleet News: “It’s important to remember that Mitsubishi is an established brand with some popular models, notably Outlander and L200, and we expect these to continue to be attractive as used cars.
“While some funder and lender nervousness can be expected around residual values, there have been precedents of brands exiting the UK without values suffering, and these include MG Rover, Saab, Daewoo and Chevrolet.
“In all cases, values subsequently moved in line with market and sector trends and were not adversely affected by the brand’s withdrawal.”
Mee argues that the expected availability of spare parts and the knowledge and experience of service engineers should help used sales and values.
Furthermore, he says it’s even possible that, as there will be a finite number of Mitsubishi cars registered in the UK, as volumes on the road decrease over time then interest from loyal customers could have a “positive impact on used values”.
Both the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and L200 have proved popular with fleet operators, with the Environment Agency one of many operating Mitsubishi vehicles.
It has 88 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs on fleet and 36 on order replacing the Outlander diesel version this year.
Dale Eynon, director of Defra Group Fleet Services, Environment Agency, told Fleet News that the Outlander PHEV (commercial variant), in particular, has been a “vital part of our programme to reduce emissions, whilst maintaining full operational capability and being cost effective”.
He added: “We will need to get some urgent and immediate assurances from the Colt Car Company in relation to existing assets in respect of SMR and warranty claims to make sure there is no drop-in service over the coming years.”
Mitsubishi said it had been impossible for it to contact all of its fleet customers simultaneously, but it wanted to talk to all of its clients in person to offer them assurances.
"All our clients will be taken care of for as long as they are running our vehicles, that is a guarantee," said a Mitsubishi spokesman.