Mitsubishi aims for record sales
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) aims to keep increasing sales in the Philippines and reach a target of about 50,000 units by 2015, officials said.
“For this year, we want our sales to reach not less than 40,000 units. By 2015, our goal is to break 50,000 units,” MMPC EVP Taizo Furuhashi said in a briefing on Monday.
Sales of Mitsubishi vehicles grew 26 times to 34,915 units in 2012 over four decades of Philippine operations, Furuhashi said. The 2012 sales were also 7.1 percent higher than the 32,603 units sold in 2011.
MMPC president and CEO Hikosaburo Shibata said that the target of 40,000 units this year and 50,000 units by 2015, if met, would be new records.
The Japanese firm last posted record-high sales of 36,500 units in 1996.
Philippine gross domestic product (a measure of economic expansion) per capita is expected to reach $2,500 this year, which could trigger higher demand for cars, Shibata said.
“We also plan to add more passenger cars,” he added.
As for the Mirage, which hit the ground running on strong sales of 2,000 units in November and December 2012, Shibata said he sees sustained demand for the small car.
Sales range from 700 to 800 units per month – higher than the target sales of 500 units – and Shibata said there was a waiting list.
The Mirage’s strong performance has caught the attention of other car companies studying the Philippine market’s potential for small vehicles.
On investments, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. president Osamu Masuko said earlier that the Mitsubishi Motors group was investing $20 million in a transmission parts assembly plant to be rolled out by affiliate firm Asian Transmission Corp. (ATC).
Masuko said ATC plans to produce 60,000 units annually starting 2014. The transmission parts it produces in the Philippines will be exported to Thailand and will be fitted in future vehicle models to be shipped all over the world.
On top of the $20 million parts assembly investment, the Mitsubishi Motors group is also investing in the launch of new car models in the Philippines, including a commercial vehicle and a sedan, Masuko said.
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