Mitsubishi sees growth in demand amid Montero Sport controversy
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Inc. (MMPC) remained bullish of its prospects this year, targeting vehicle sales of 70,000 units amid controversies hounding one of its best-selling models.
This represented a 29-percent increase in sales for the country’s second biggest automotive firm. It sold 59,087 units in 2014.
“Hitting 70,000 units this year will be challenging but we are banking on new models to boost growth. Aside from the all new Montero, we will have new upgrades on the Mirage and Strada, and we will introduce the Outlander to complement MMPC’s SUV lineup, in which we are currently very strong,” Froilan Dytianquin, first vice president for marketing of MMPC, said in a briefing late Wednesday.
“Usually, we see double digit growth (in vehicle sales) during national elections,” he added. Increased mobility during elections boosts demand, he said.
He said the L300 and Adventure models were among those that saw strong sales in the past.
To address an expected growth in demand, MMPC was also hiking its production capacity to about 18,000 units for the Adventure and L300 models from the 16,000 units that the company assembled in its Laguna facility last year. Only 25 percent of MMPC’s lineup are locally assembled.
Dytianquin added the two models were also strong with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which often use these vehicles for delivering goods and services.
MMPC also launched Wednesday night the third generation, all-new Montero Sport, which has a price tag starting at P1.5 million.
Company officials were optimistic of this latest offering, which saw the Montero getting a full redesign and better performance, comfort and safety features.
Given the controversies on the sudden and unintended acceleration (SUA) incidents involving previous Montero models, MMPC highlighted the safety features of this new model including, among others, the forward commission mitigation system (FCM) for emergency brakes in case of acceleration; the blind spot warning system to monitor vehicles closing on the rear, driver side; crumple zones absorbing a crash to protect the interior of the cabin.
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