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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mitsubishi Motors Remains Bullish in Southeast Asia

In line with the roll out of its Philippine-produced Mirage G4, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has revealed bullish expansion plans in the Southeast Asian region. In a report by the Nikkei Asian Review, Mitsubishi is planning to broaden its dealership network across the region by 20 percent while doubling its workforce in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand by 2020.

The Nikkei says that Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) is planning to expand its dealership network to 70 from the current number of 48 in the next three years. MMPC is also aiming to double its workforce to 1,400 during the same period. It comes at a very opportune time since MMPC has shifted production of its Mirage and Mirage G4 passenger car from Thailand to Sta. Rosa City, Laguna (the Mirage hatchback shifts to local production in May).

The news of MMPC’s participation in the Philippine government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy or CARS Program also means the demise of two beloved Mitsubishi models: the Adventure and the L300.

The Manila Times and The Business Mirror have both reported that MMPC is set to phase out both the Adventure MPV and L300 vans due to their stricter Euro IV emission standards by the end of this year. However, AutoIndustriya reports that the L300 at least may get a reprieve courtesy of a new or re-tuned engine despite both the Adventure and L300 sharing the same 4D56 engine. The same cannot be said about the Adventure as various local suppliers have confirmed that they have already been notified of its production winding down.

Though diehard fans will miss the Adventure, the Nikkei says that a new MPV is coming. It will be built at a new manufacturing facility in Indonesia. Whether or not it will be solely for the Indonesian market or for regional consumption remains to be seen, but this MPV is long rumored to replace the long-serving Adventure. Launching by the third quarter of this year, this new MPV is based off the 7-seater xM Concept shown last year.

Sources: Nikkei, The Manila Times, The Business Mirror, AutoIndustriya

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