DTI aims for local production of Mitsubishi’s Xpander
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is hoping that Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) would consider the local production of its multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) model.
Dita Angara-Mathay, DTI commercial counselor and special trade representative to Tokyo, said MMPC’s Xpander “is very popular” and that the department is hoping that the MPV model’s next generation will be made in the country.
“Right now, it is being made in Indonesia,” Ms. Angara-Mathay told reporters in mixed English and Filipino during a recent virtual briefing.
She said MMPC is eyeing the local production of a new model, which has yet to be disclosed. “They have an expansion. They want to get into probably a new model assembly that they have not yet disclosed,” she said.
“That (plan) is really contingent [on] the extension of our program,” she said. “The Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program, is time-bound, performance-bound. We have to meet a certain volume of units before you get any subsidy. We had the pandemic. They are asking for an extension.”
Ms. Angara-Mathay also said that the DTI is hoping MMPC would consider the local production of the Xpander as part of its CARS commitment.
As part of the recent visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to Japan, the Philippines previously secured a letter of intent from MMPC’s parent firm, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., to renew target production commitments under the CARS program and expand its car manufacturing activities in the Philippines with the addition of another locally assembled vehicle model.
Currently, the MMPC is engaged in the local production of its Mirage subcompact sedan as part of the government’s CARS program implemented by the Board of Investments. The car manufacturer is also locally producing other vehicles outside of the CARS program such as the L300 utility van.
The CARS program has allotted a P27 billion budget for three car manufacturers to locally produce at least 200,000 units each for six years to avail fiscal incentives from the government. However, only MMPC and Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. enrolled in the program, with the latter producing the Vios model. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave