Mitsubishi plans to develop PH into an export hub
TOKYO—Mitsubishi Motors Corp. of Japan is betting big on its operations in the Philippines as it targets to make the country one of its export hubs in the region.
MMC chair and CEO Osamu Masuko told reporters here that the company wanted to ramp up the factory output of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. to about 100,000 units yearly to enable it to export the Mirage and Mirage G4 to the rest of the region.
“If there is an opportunity, we’d like to export. But in order to export, we need [scale]. We have confidence that we can accomplish this [export plan] but the cost of producing cars must be competitive enough and that means that the volume production has to go up as well. With one model, we can produce 50,000 units … When the export competitiveness in terms of cost will improve and if the Philippine economy will continue to grow, then the plans to export can come at an earlier stage,” Masuko said.
Masuko also stressed the need to strengthen the local parts suppliers, adding that they also have to invest to supply the requirements of assemblers.
“We have great expectations for the Philippines. So definitely, we want the Philippines and its players to respond to the great expectations we have,” he said.
MMPC is enrolled under the Philippines’ Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy, under which a total of P27 billion worth of incentives will be granted. MMPC is investing P4.3 billion to produce 200,000 units of the Mirage over six years.
“Following the government’s approval for our entry into the program on June 15, we held a groundbreaking ceremony of MMPC’s new stamping plant on June 17. MMPC is planning to invest P4.3 billion to build this new stamping plant and to add capacity to the passenger car production lines. In January 2017, Mirage G4 followed by Mirage will be brought into production,” Masuko said.
He added: “The Philippines will see a change in government in July but our commitment to the country remains unchanged. By keeping good communication with the new administration, we are determined to continue contributing to the growth of the Philippines through further development of the auto industry, increased local production, and job creation. MMPC currently employs about 1,000 people. Through the CARS program, [we expect to generate] another 4,000 jobs [for MMPC and its tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers].”
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