Southside Mitsubishi of Edmonton is the largest volume Mitsubishi dealership in Canada. Established in 2002, Southside Mitsubishi was among the first group of Mitsubishi dealers to enter the Canadian marketplace. Today, the brand celebrates its 10-year anniversary in Canada.
“I am from Southern Alberta and I came to Edmonton to open this dealership,” Kevin Robertson, President and Founder of Southside Mitsubishi, told The Canadian Business Journal. “I have managed the dealership since its inception and, about two years ago, I purchased the remaining ownership shares from my original partners.”
As a dealer of new and pre-owned vehicles, the dealership has seen steady increases in its automotive sales, particularly in its early years when the introduction of the new automotive brand to the Canadian marketplace reflected in steady year-over-year sales growth. As a result, Southside Mitsubishi has seen continued growth through its decade of experience serving the Edmonton Capital Region, and witnessing only a shade of the recent economic downturn that was particularly impactful on the automotive sector.
“We grew at a really good rate. In 2008, when the recession hit, we didn’t experience it like Ontario but there was definitely a softening where our new car volume, even today, is considerably less than it was in 2007,” Robertson explained. “It had an impact where 2008 to 2010 was much softer in the new car business.
“Some of the impact was also from a global perspective – with our vehicles coming from Japan, it impacted some of our product lines, where it was scheduled to come to Canada but was then retracted and held back during the recession, so it minimized the amount of product lineup that we had as well as the opportunities for us to sell new cars.”
Moving forward, Southside Mitsubishi sees its next challenge as an upgrade to its facility. Nowadays, many automotive sellers are developing corporate
standard dealerships that are designed with a customer centric focus, and much of the competition of Southside Mitsubishi has unveiled similarly designed buildings.
“I don’t believe that facilities sell vehicles, but a lot of manufacturers and dealers have more modern facilities. We have also grown our service department to the point where we need more space where an expansion would allow for more technicians so that we can continue to provide timely customer service.”
Whether you visit as a buyer or for parts and repair, the experience to Southside Mitsubishi is the same in that it is dedicated to providing an excellent customer service. Accordingly, a larger capacity would also facilitate an improved buyer experience, well-trained sales managers ensuring that the dealership remains on the leading edge of the new buying perception. Now more than ever, customers are more in tune and have a greater knowledge and understanding of the car purchasing experience.
“Much has changed with Internet marketing, so we do our best to appeal to the customer to put us on their shopping list,” Robertson detailed. “When people come here, it’s a positive transition from their Internet research. We continue to stay up-to-date on the trends and expectations of the buyer.”
The philosophy at Southside Mitsubishi is serviced oriented and based on a friendly customer experience. That value extends to its products as well, where
Southside Mitsubishi offers a leading class warranty program, in addition to a high efficiency, fuel economy product line up that is in demand with its customer base. It is a commitment to quality that extends from the dealer office to the driver’s seat.
“Our philosophy is that we can make a deal with anybody. The prices on our cars are very favourable to the marketplace in that they are quite attractive and the quality is very high, so it’s a win-win for us,” Robertson concluded. “Our salespeople focus on narrowing down the needs and wants of the customer, fitting the right vehicle for them and with this the result is always positive. Our salespeople learn the needs of the customer to match the right vehicle to the right budget, and as a result that increases the rate of customers who stay with us and repeat buy with us.”