Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) is projecting an increase of 20 percent in its production volume in 2017, the company’s Vice President for Marketing Froilan Dytianquin said.
In an interview, Dytianquin mentioned that MMPC expects total production volume next year to reach 74,000 units from about 61,000 to 62,000 units this year.
The increment in MMPC’s production next year will be pushed by the local assembly of the Mirage and Mirage G4, which the carmaker applied under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.
MMPC President and CEO Yoshiaki Kato told reporters that the company will have its line-off ceremony in the first quarter of 2017 to start the local manufacture of the Mirage G4.
The production of the Mirage hatchback will follow by May 2017.
However, the MMPC will still utilize imported body shell for its Mirage vehicles as its stamping facility is expected to be operational early 2018, according to Kato.
“The local content will be higher later. We will import the body shell from Thailand,” he said.
According to MPPC First Vice President for Corporate Planning Group Yosuke Nishi, the company eyes Mirage production here to have 35 percent local components by 2018, which will gradually increase to meet the requirement under the government’s CARS Program.
Under the CARS Program, participating carmakers are eligible for production volume incentive if they can manufacture at least 50 percent of the assembly by weight in the case of body shell assembly, and produce major components of the assemblies in the case of large plastic parts assemblies.
In February, Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) announced that it will invest PHP4.3 billion in the Philippines, making the country its new production hub for Mirage and Mirage G4, which are currently manufactured in Thailand.
Local sales of the Mirage hatchback and sedan are averaging 1,800 units a month.
MMPC is one of two participating carmakers in the CARS Program, which aims to stimulate the growth of the local car industry through tax perks from the government.
The government is allotting some PHP27 billion (USD600 million) for six years for the CARS Program.