International Motors completes takeover of Mitsubishi Motors UK aftersales business


International Motors, a part of IM Group, the Solihull-based automotive, property and finance business, has completed the purchase of Cirencester-based The Colt Car Company’s aftersales business, Mitsubishi Motors UK. The new subsidiary of International Motors, I.M. MAPS (UK) Ltd, will continue to trade, as it has done for many years, under the Mitsubishi Motors in the UK banner.

International Motors, which was established in 1976, is currently the official UK importer for Subaru and Isuzu vehicles and the addition of the Mitsubishi Motors in the UK aftersales business represents an opportunity to grow its parts and accessories operation.

The Mitsubishi Motors in the UK aftersales business will operate independently within IM Group from its current base in Cirencester. It is staffed by the existing Mitsubishi aftersales team members, headed up by Toby Marshall who has been a Director at Mitsubishi Motors in the UK for more than 12 years.

IM Group’s Managing Director, Andrew Edmiston, said: “We are delighted to welcome all   Mitsubishi dealers to IM and we are ready to undertake all existing Service Obligations to Mitsubishi customers.”

Toby Marshall, Managing Director, added: “We are excited to be joining the IM Group which will allow us to continue offering aftersales services for all Mitsubishi customers in the UK. We’re looking to maintain the excellent standards of aftersales care, parts supply and vehicle warranty that our customers have experienced for many years to come.”

Adding Mitsubishi Aftersales to its core businesses was described by Torbjörn Lillrud, MD of International Motors Ltd as “a natural fit”.

Mitsubishi cars have been imported into the UK by the Cirencester-based Colt Car Company since 1974.

The global pandemic has accelerated the adoption of electric, hybrid and plug-in cars in Europe, with diesel and petrol vehicles losing traction as a result. June was no exception to this trend. While petrol and diesel registrations fell by 32 per cent and 31 per cent respectively, compared to June 2019, the volume of new EVs registered rose from 111,300 units in June 2019 to 183,300 units last month, up by 65 per cent. In other words, the market share of EVs was 16.2 per cent, which closes the gap to less than eight percentage points compared to the market share for diesel cars. For every EV registered, in June 2019, there were 1.7 diesel cars registered – a ratio of 4.1 to 1, according to JATO Dynamics which provides timely, accurate and up-to-date automotive information on vehicle specifications across the world, pricing, sales and registrations.

The Colt Car Company was set up in 1974, formed as a joint venture company owned 51 per cent by a consortium (Colt Automotive Ltd), and 49 per cent by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. The managing director, and latterly chairman and chief executive was Michael Orr, who had worked for  Alfa Romeo and then BMW as National Sales Manager. While on a fact-finding trip to Japan he was asked to take on the Import of Mitsubishi Cars.

For the first decade British market Mitsubishi were sold under the “Colt” marque until the rebranding to Mitsubishi, which then brought the marque in line with the rest of the world. It remained a 51/49 joint venture between Colt Automotive Ltd and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation until 2008. Since then it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of MC Automobile (Europe) NV (MCAE).

Last November, The Colt Car Company’s prominent Cirencester headquarters on the market. Comprising a circa 100,000 warehouse facility alongside offices, showroom, training school, and  a 24-bedroom hotel, Riverside House Hotel. The site was on the market for £12 million. Business & Innovation Magazine understand that the site has now sold.

Last month, 20 Royal Agricultural College students moved into the Riverside House Hotel.