Mitsubishi PH prepares for 50th year bashBy Charles E. Buban
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Before Mitsubishi became officially known as Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. in January 1987, the company has already been an established producer of the three-diamond badge for 24 years, selling the Minica F4, Lancer, Galant as well as several types of Mitsubishi truck models.
With its roots dating back to February 1963, MMPC is set to mark its 50th anniversary to be held at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati.
“2013 will be truly an exciting year for MMPC, as we will be introducing new additions to our lineup and at the same time several upgrades to keep our existing models more interesting to the market. Our challenge is to sustain the growth trend and keep Mitsubishi a strong and trusted brand in the Philippines,” promised MMPC president and CEO Hikosaburo Shibata.
Based in Cainta, Rizal (where it has a 190,224 sq.m manufacturing plant), the company currently manufactures Lancer EX sedans, Adventure AUVs, L300 cab and chassis, L300 Versa Van, Fuso light and medium duty trucks and bus chassis.
Apart from these models, MMPC also sells the Lancer Evolution X sports car, Montero Sport SUV, Strada pickup, Pajero SUV, ASX compact SUV, Fuzion MPV, as well as L200 in various body configuration.
This year, company plans to sell 43,000 units, a significant 23-percent increase from last year’s 34,915 units (the company enjoyed a 22-percent share of the market last year).
When Mitsubishi Motors Corp. president Osamu Masuko visited the Philippines last year to lead the launching of the company’s latest model, the All-New Mirage subcompact hatchback, he did not discount the possibility of Mitsubishi investing in new models in the Philippines.
“The decision to make new investments in the country would depend on what vehicle categories have a big demand here as well as the incentives that would be offered by the government for the industry,” he said.
This should be a big inspiration for MMPC, which recorded its 6th year of consecutive sales growth as it closed 2012 (the company was able to sell a total of 34,915 vehicles which is a 7-percent improvement from its 2011 sales of 32,603 units).
MMPC’s remarkable sales performance last year got its boost from the two models it launched late last year: the All-New Mirage and the Lancer EX 1.6.
Of course, the Montero Sport continued its strong sales performance in the midsize SUV category as 12,510 units were sold while its L300 Chassis Cab lorded the utility cab segment after enjoying an 87.3-percent share of the market.
MMPC is confident it will perform even better in 2013 as the country is currently experiencing significant economic growth: the Philippines’ gross domestic product grew by 6.8 percent in the 4th quarter of 2012 that paved the way for the annual GDP to post a faster-than-expected annual growth of 6.6 percent.
The company is also banking on the fact that 2013 will also be a full-year sale of the All-New Mirage while at the same time, supply conditions is now back to normal for the company’s completely builtup units such as Montero and Strada.