The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Mitsubishi Motors North America Celebrates 25th Anniversary Dealers


Pioneering Dealers From Across the U.S. Recognized for Their Loyalty and Success Representing the Mitsubishi Motors Brand

CYPRESS, Calif., Oct. 15 -- Celebrating 25 years of selling cars and trucks in North America, Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) today recognizes ten dealers from across the United States who have owned and operated Mitsubishi franchises since 1982. From Florida to Washington, each 25-year dealer will be honored at special regional events during the month of October. Mitsubishi President and CEO, Hiroshi Harunari will present each dealership owner with a special award commemorating their success and long franchise history with the company. The celebration kicked off last Friday when Mr. Harunari visited Auburn Valley Mitsubishi in Washington State, the first dealership in the U.S. to sell a Mitsubishi-badged vehicle.

"We honor the commitment and loyalty to the Mitsubishi brand over the past 25 years of these pioneers in the Mitsubishi Motors family," said Harunari. "Starting with the sale of the first Mighty Max, Cordia and Tredia models to today's Eclipse, Galant, Lancer, Endeavor, Outlander and Raider sales, the dedication of our dealers is what drives our continued success."

In response to a recent questionnaire, many of the dealers shared special memories from their history with Mitsubishi Motors. Following are highlights and comments from all ten of Mitsubishi Motors 25th anniversary dealers.

  Mitsubishi Motors North American 25-Year Dealers:

  William Lehman Mitsubishi, North Miami, Florida
   Anniversary date:  8/26/1982
    William Lehman remembered delivering his first Mitsubishi vehicle to a
    college student. There was only one problem; the student did not know
    how to drive a stick shift. The dealer taught the young woman how to
    drive a manual transmission and 25 years later she is still a loyal

  Gillman Mitsubishi South, Houston, Texas -- First in Texas
   Anniversary date:  8/26/1982
    Ramsay Gillman from Houston noted how times had changed over the years.
    When Gillman Mitsubishi first opened the models for sale were the
    Tredia, Cordia and Starion, 2WD and 4WD Mighty Max trucks. In 1983 his
    dealership sold an average of 70 units a month and they hand-wrote their
    financial statements.

  Rockville Mitsubishi, Rockville, Maryland
   Anniversary date:  8/27/1982
    Buzzy Cohn from Rockville noted his proudest moment as a Mitsubishi
    dealer was when he won the prestigious President's Award, which was
    presented to him in Japan. Cohn also said his favorite model of all time
    was the 2008 Lancer and one of his most memorable moments was the
    speeding ticket he received the first time he drove a Mitsubishi.

  Auburn Valley Mitsubishi, Auburn, Washington
   Anniversary date:  8/27/1982
    Tito Roempke from Auburn noted his most memorable sales experience, when
    20 people showed up and competed for the first Eclipse to be sold. Tito
    remarked he had never had that experience in his career. The first
    dealer in the U.S. to sell a Mitsubishi-badged vehicle -- a Mighty Max
    truck -- Roempke said after 25 years he is still proud to be a
    Mitsubishi dealer.

  Wantagh Mitsubishi, Wantagh, New York
   Anniversary date:  8/27/1982
    Kevin Bast from Wantagh said one of his proudest moments as a Mitsubishi
    dealer was becoming one of the first 10 Mitsubishi dealers activated in
    the U.S. Bast also said his best selling vehicle of all time was the
    Galant and his favorite Mitsubishi model was the 3000GT and he still
    drives a 1999 model today.

  Bill Seidle's Mitsubishi, Miami, Florida
   Anniversary date:  9/9/1982
    Bill Seidle noted that his most unusual sales experience was always the
    first step, instructing the customer as to how to properly pronounce
    Mitsubishi. Seidle also said his best selling vehicle of all time was
    the Montero Sport and his personal favorite Mitsubishi model was the
    3000GT VR4 Hard-top convertible.

  Kirkwood Mitsubishi, Kirkwood, Missouri
   Anniversary date:  9/15/1982
    Chris Auffenberg from Kirkwood said his proudest moments as a Mitsubishi
    dealer include all the awards, trips and visits from Mitsubishi
    personnel over the years. Auffenberg also added that his favorite model
    of all time was the 3000 GT and the dealerships bestselling vehicle was
    the Eclipse.

  Global Mitsubishi, North Plainfield, New Jersey
   Anniversary date:  9/20/1982
    William Feinstein from North Plainfield said one of his proudest moments
    as a Mitsubishi Dealer was his first year in business. That year, Global
    was the first franchise to sell 2,000 vehicles. Feinstein also noted
    that his favorite vehicle of all time was the 2008 Lancer GTS and the
    Cordia L as a close second.

  Stohlman Mitsubishi, Vienna, Virginia
   Anniversary date:  10/22/1982
    Cathy Stohlman remembered one unusual sales experience when a member of
    the military called over the phone to order a Lancer Evolution.
    Stohlman's dealership made plans to meet his wife at the Port of
    Baltimore to have the vehicle shipped to Germany but they found out the
    vehicle had too much gas in the tank, so they drove around with the wife
    for an hour to burn off the extra gas. The dealership got a nice call
    from the serviceman who said his new Lancer Evolution was faster than
    his commanding officer.

  Crown Mitsubishi, Saint Petersburg, Florida
   Anniversary date:  12/17/1982
    Dwayne Hawkins reminisced about his dealerships most unusual sales
    experience, when they sold a 2004 Endeavor to a customer and the
    delivery day was timed with Hurricane Charlie hit the Florida coast. His
    Sales Manager and Finance Manager drove to the dealership during the
    storm and opened up the store so the customer could take delivery that

With more than 500 dealers in North America, Mitsubishi Motors North America dealers have sold more than 1.8 million US-assembled vehicles and 4.3 million vehicles in total during the past twenty-five years. In 2008, Mitsubishi Motors dealer lots will soon be stocked with the next generation of Driven to Thrill vehicles including the much-anticipated Lancer Evolution model.

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, convertibles, sedans, sport utility vehicles, and light trucks through a network of approximately 500 dealers.