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Mitsubishi Q1 sales up

MITSUBISHI Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) yesterday said the strong demand for the controversial Montero Sport was a strong driver of surging first-quarter sales even as the brand faced mounting controversies and scandals here and abroad.

The company said this amid a still unresolved controversy over reports from some owners of Montero units about alleged sudden unintended acceleration.

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Also, the automaker is in hot waters in its home country as it admitted to the Japanese government last week that it falsified fuel economy data on its eK mini-car series. Introduced in 2001, eK vehicles are not sold in the Philippines. However, Mitsubishi said in an April 20 statement it “will also conduct an investigation into products manufactured for overseas markets.”

In the Philippines, MMPC said first-quarter sales growth surged 24 percent year-on-year to 14,688 units, overtaking the domestic industry’s 22-percent expansion as recorded in the joint report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and Trucks Manufacturer of Association (TMA).

The same report shows that MMPC accounted for a 19-percent share of the market to remain as the No. 2 best-selling brand in the Philippines.

Mitsubishi saw passenger car sales rev up by 22 percent with 4,564 units, while light commercial vehicles jumped 24 percent with 9,754 units. Also, the company sold 27 percent more trucks and 60 percent more buses.

“[Growth was] driven by strong demand for the Mirage, Mirage G4, the recently launched all-new Montero Sport and locally manufactured units such as the Adventure and L300,” MMPC said in a statement.

“It is remarkable to note as well that the Montero Sport remains to be the best-selling mid-size SUV for the first quarter,” the company said, adding that this model accounted for 42 percent of its LCV sales.

Earlier this week, the Department of Trade and Industry said it was set to review the terms of reference for the procurement of services from a third-party laboratory that would conduct full vehicle tests on the Montero model. The DTI declared on Friday a failed bidding for the contract.

Trade Undersecretary Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said a review was the next step following the failed bidding for the contract.

The DTI’s bids and awards committee (DTI-BAC) declared “a failure of bidding” for the procurement of third-party laboratory services as the lone bidder was deemed ineligible.

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TAGS: auto, Automobile, Automotive, Business, Mitsubishi, Montero Sport, sales
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