AUTOMOTIVE : More Mitsubishis Will Go From Rentals to Used Car Dealers

Compiled by John O'Dell, Times staff writer

Ever wonder from whence hail all those “low-mileage” beauties auto dealers try to steer you toward as you’re reeling from sticker shock in the new car department?

Well, wonder no more.

They come from corporate and rental fleets.

Earlier this year, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc. decided that a rental firm was just what it needed to boost the visibility of its cars and provide its dealers with a stream of used vehicles.


The Cypress-based importer and distributor of Mitsubishi cars and trucks already had a small piece of Value Rent-A-Car Inc. in Deerfield, Fla., a regional rental firm with 25 locations in six states.

Now, Mitsubishi has completed purchase of a majority interest in Value, becoming the first automotive importer in the United States to purchase a daily car rental company.

The deal means that Mitsubishi vehicles, which now make up 10% of Value’s fleet, soon will account for 85% of the total.

And many of those cars will wind up back on Mitsubishi dealers’ lots as “clean, low-mileage” specials.