Mitsubishi aims to regain market leadership in small cars with new Mirage
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) hopes to gain leadership in the passenger car market with the launching of its all-new “Mirage” in the Philippines in late October this year.
Orlando Alvarez Jr., MMPC senior vice president for treasury and marketing, said the MMPC was very much excited with the introduction of the new Mirage in the Philippine market as it would send a strong message that Mitsubishi is back in the passenger car segment.
“With its features, attractive styling, and superior fuel economy, we believe that the launch of the Mirage will help us boost our sales and market share in the passenger car market,” Alvarez said.
The launching of the all-new Mirage marks Mitsubishi’s return to the small-car passenger car market in the Philippines since the mid-1980s when its production was stopped.
“We at MMPC are very optimistic that the launch of the all-new Mirage will bring forth new excitement to the Mitsubishi brand and also meet the business objectives set to us for our midterm management plans for JUMP 2013,” Alvarez said.
The 2012 Mirage, a five-seater hatchback, is powered by a 1.2-liter engine and is available in four variants—two manual and two automatic transmissions. It’s bigger than the Kia Picanto but is smaller than the Ford Fiesta.
Company officials said the all-new Mirage has a fuel efficiency of 22 kilometers per liter.
Mirage’s direct competitors in the compact-car category are the Nissan March and the Honda Brio. However, these car models are not sold in the Philippines.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. of Japan has built a new car manufacturing plant in Lamchabang, Thailand, dedicated solely to the production of the new Mirage.
To ensure high quality, MMC of Japan has stationed Japanese inspection experts at the plant to inspect the vehicles 100 percent before they are shipped.
The Mirage plant, which employs 702 workers, has an annual plant capacity of 130,000 units. Its production will initially be exported to other Asean countries and Japan. They will later be sold in Europe and other countries.
For 2012, the plant is forecast to produce a total of 105,000 units, of which 75,000 will be for export.
The all-new Mirage is currently sold in Thailand where it was launched in March this year at prices ranging from 380,000 to 546,000 Thai baht. It has so far received orders for 25,000 units.
In the Philippines, Mirage is expected to be sold for at least P500,000. –Adlai Noel O. Velasco
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