Mitsubishi Motors Corp’s Philippines unit plans to locally produce small cars as early as next year to take advantage of a US$600 million (RM2.5 billion) government incentive scheme, the automaker’s domestic head said.
Mitsubishi sells the most cars in the Philippines after Toyota Motor Corp, which has also said it was keen to take part of the scheme aimed at expanding the local auto industry.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp president Yoshiaki Kato said the company was preparing its application for the incentive programme, which requires automakers to produce at least 200,000 vehicles per model over six years to avail of tax breaks.
“If we want to get volume, smaller models are easy to sell more,” Kato said yesterday. “We will do some additional investments, but still the number is not finalised.”
Production of the small car model could start in 2017 or 2018, Kato added. The company sells the Mirage sub-compact and Lancer sedans, both imported, in the Philippines.
Vehicle sales in the Philippines rose 23% to a record 288,609 units last year, data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc showed.
Mitsubishi already manufactures the Adventure SUV and L300 van in the Philippines. Its facility, south of the capital, has an annual capacity of 50,000 units and output was just around 16,000 vehicle last year, company data showed.
Automakers in the Philippines produced a record 92,669 vehicles in the 11 months to November last year, but that is just a drop in the bucket compared to Thailand’s 1.76 million and Indonesia’s 1.03 million, data from the Asean Automotive Federation showed.
Source and image: The Rakyat Post