Mitsubishi Motors acquires Ford plant

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Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) has acquired the manufacturing plant of Ford Motor Co. Philippines in Santa Rosa, Laguna as part of its expansion in the country.

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“The acquisition of the Sta. Rosa factory will further strengthen our assembly operations, utilizing heavy stamping machines, advanced equipment and facilities engineering that will support MMC’s business objectives for the new mid-term business plan,” MMPC president and chief executive officer Hikosaburo Shibata said.

He said Mitsubishi is undertaking the acquisition as it recognizes the sustained growth of the Philippine economy and as it prepared for the expansion of the local auto industry.

Ford’s mothballed manufacturing facility is situated on a 21-hectare site in Sta Rosa.

Shibata said taking over Ford’s plant is part of Mitsubishi’s strategy to further strengthen MMPC’s role of expanding sales and production capacity which is part of its new stage of growth mid-term plan until the end of 2016 fiscal year.

“Mitsubishi Motor Corp. as recognized MMPC’s strong performance in the Philippines with its continuous growth in spite of the increasing market competition,” he said.

Last year, MMPC sold 43,176 units, breaking the previous sales record of 36,533 units established in 1996. The sales volume enabled the firm to garner a 20 percent share of the local market, while also establishing its seventh consecutive growth since 2006.

“MMPC is looking forward to the new Philippine government auto policy which is aimed at strengthening the local auto manufacturing operations to make it competitive against other Asian and Asean countries. Strengthening the auto manufacturing operations through this new auto policy, will eventually provide huge job employment opportunities not only to car assemblers, but also to the industry-related companies and businesses such as first, second and third tier suppliers,” Shibata said.

The Philippines, in spite of its new record sales achieved last year of around 212,000 units, is still far behind Thailand and Indonesia in terms of auto market sales, but is projected to rapidly grow in the coming years given its close to 100 million population, he added.

MMPC’s 18-hectare plant is located in Cainta, Rizal and has a capacity to produce 30,000 units annually. Last year, it produced about 15,000 units, given its existing completely knocked down models such as the L300, Adventure and Lancer EX. MMPC plans to relocate to Laguna and start vehicle production by January 2015.

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