Mitsubishi to export cars produced in Philippines by next year
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) will start exporting locally produced vehicles to different parts of Southeast Asia next year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Thursday.
DTI said in a statement Mitsubishi will be exporting Mirage and L300 units by 2019, a move which could help address the country’s worsening trade deficit.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez recently met with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) Chief Executive Officer Osamu Masuko to discuss the possibility of exporting cars to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
DTI said Masuko relayed plans to produce more units of Mirage/G4 and L300 in the Philippines and start exporting these to the Asean market by 2019 while also expressing intent to help develop the local electric vehicle industry.
“The intention is to produce specific models that will be exported to our neighbors in Asean,” Lopez said.
“The good thing here is, as MMC is already present in other Asean countries like Thailand and Indonesia, they are planning to make certain countries as production hub for certain models, which will serve their respective domestic and export markets,” he added.
Right now, MMPC is currently locally producing Mirage and Mirage G4 units under the multibillion peso Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program, an initiative under the Aquino administration wherein it committed to locally produce a total of 200,000 units by 2023.
It remains to be seen how many of its locally produced units will be exported and to which particular countries in the Asean would the units be shipped.
Nevertheless, this will give the company a way to sell its products elsewhere, especially since vehicle sales of the entire industry, including MMPC, have suffered huge declines for most part of this year.
According to official industry data, overall MMPC vehicle sales dropped 7-percent in the first 11 months of the year to 62,013 units from 66,704 units in the same period in 2017. The data did not specify the share of Mirage units in the sales.
“We keep saying that building an export manufacturing base is the way to go. It is also a good import substitution strategy. Through this initiative, we will address the trade imbalance and provide more jobs to our countrymen,” Lopez said. /kga
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