Mar 202015

MANILA, Philippines – The local unit of Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp. plans to manufacture a new vehicle model after the release of the government’s automotive policy.

Outgoing president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) Hikosaburo Shibata told reporters that as the Philippine automotive market is expanding, it is in their interest to manufacture a new vehicle model.

“We would like to manufacture a new model after the CARS (Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy) program (is released). That is our key agenda,” he said.

As the company recently opened its 21-hectare plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, which is bigger than its previous 18-hectare facility in Cainta, Rizal, MMPC’s incoming president and CEO Yoshiaki Kato said the firm wants to assemble a new vehicle model in the future.

“We opened a new factory in Sta. Rosa. Our new factory has bigger capacity than old one. In future, we need to consider manufacturing new model,” he said.

The CARS program is considered important and critical to the firm’s plan.

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“MMPC has been in this country for more than 50 years. We want to continue providing world-class opportunities to Filipinos for the next 50 more years,” Kato whose appointment takes effect on April 1, said.

Shibata declined to give details on the new vehicle model being considered for assembly in the Philippines, but said that pursuing the plan would still depend on the support the government would provide under the CARS program.

The government aims to position the Philippines as a regional manufacturing hub for vehicles through the CARS program which is targeted to be released within the year.

Under the program, the government intends to provide both fiscal and non-fiscal support amounting to $600 million to industry players that meet certain production levels.

In the same event, MMPC launched the 5th generation of the Strada pickup, engineered as a sports utility truck combined with the functionality of a pickup as well as the comfort of a passenger car and with amenities of a sports utility vehicle.

As the Strada has become one of Mitsubishi’s global bestsellers and the pickup  model with the biggest number of units sold here since its introduction in the 1990s,  MMPC aims to sell 700 units of the latest generation per month to account for more than 20 percent of the pickup market.

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