(Article published in AUTOMOTIVE INNOVATIONS magazine, June 2024)

By Isabelle Havasy

Dion Edwards will soon be celebrating his ninth anniversary. Nearly a decade has passed since his first contact with the world of Mitsubishi.

“I didn’t know much about the brand or the owners of the dealership,” Edwards recalls when he heard that Valley Mitsubishi, located in Kelowna, British Columbia, was on the hunt for a General Sales Manager. He decided to drop in to see what the place was all about. When he set foot in the company, President Rick Wright was there. “I had the required experience for the position, and I was well aware of how things work in this industry. But while talking with Rick, I discovered a new mindset that resonated with me.”

A People-Oriented Philosophy

This modest dealership, with a more limited footprint than other manufacturers, stands out for the way it engages with the community it serves. Here, the individual takes centre stage. Wright and his team make a point of addressing every interaction and every transaction from a human perspective. “We’re located in a small community in which we’re involved. We take great pride in this. All members of staff embrace the same ideology: putting the customer first. Because if they’re happy, we’ll be happy as well, and the company will keep on thriving. It doesn’t need to be complicated but it has to be consistent.”

Adding Edwards to the organization coincides with the onset of a new era at Mitsubishi. Vehicle designs were rejuvenated, and innovative technologies saw the light of day. Launched in 2013, the plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander didn’t hit showrooms across the country until four years later. A favorite among Canadian customers, the brand’s flagship model keeps growing in popularity. With 9,911 units sold in 2023, the Outlander PHEV leads the way in the Canadian plug-in hybrid SUV market.

A Distinctive Product

When it arrived on Canadian soil, the Outlander PHEV was practically alone in its type. “No other manufacturer really had a four-wheel-drive PHEV in the same price range as ours. Thanks to this vehicle, we’ve managed to establish a strong foothold in the market,” explains Edwards. “But to stay ahead of the pack and continue to grow,” he notes, “Mitsubishi must keep innovating and bring new products to the table.”

Like the make it sells, Valley Mitsubishi stands apart from its peers. In 2019, 2020 and 2023, the company earned the CleanBC Go Electric Dealer Green Star Award. This recognition is given to dealers in the province, across all automakers, who have sold or leased the highest volume of ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles). “Our sales are outperforming those of our competitors thanks to our products and people,” says Edwards proudly. “If Mitsubishi can stay ahead of the curve while keeping its leading position in this technology, we’re in for some monumental changes.”

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