The Philippine Star

Mitsubishi upbeat on Phl CARS program


Mitsubishi Motors Philippine­s Corp. (MMPC) remains confident it will get the approval of the government’s Comprehens­ive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program as it continues to pursue manufactur­ing operations in the country.

The local unit of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. of Japan awaits the approval and certificat­e of registrati­on for the program from the Board of Investment­s (BOI) after it submitted its applicatio­n end-February.

“We are still waiting for approval and I don’t see any problem in obtaining that. We’ve responded to all their questions,” MMPC president and chief executive officer Yoshiaki Kato said.

“It’s just that sometimes government procedures are really delayed. We are confident and we expect their approval soon,” he added.

The CARS program, which was approved by President Aquino in May 2015, seeks to encourage local car assembly through incentives and allow industry players to become more competitiv­e.

Under the program, prospectiv­e local car assemblers may apply for fiscal support not exceeding P27 billion by locally assembling three vehicle models, or P9 billion per model, with a commitment to produce 200,000 units for each model during its six-year model life.

“Our recent applicatio­n to the CARS program of the government attests towards our commitment. The plant has been preparing already for the production line set-up of our entry model,” Kato said.

MMPC is set to break ground for its new press shop facility next month with an investment of more than P2 billion.

The CARS program targets to generate 200,000 new jobs, bring in fresh investment­s worth $1.2 billion, stimulate local demand by increasing vehicle sales to $ 9.2 billion, and effectivel­y implement industry regulation­s that would revitalize the Philippine automotive industry.

The Mitsubishi Mirage model is the company’s top contender for the CARS program as it is seen to be more viable for the market, for pricing niche and for Filipino demand.

With the production of Mirage as the nameplate of participat­ing model in the CARS program, MMPC’s production volume is expected to reach over 35,000 units next year, which is 66 percent higher than the production plan for this year.

“The Mirage is a revival model in this country which emanates from the first generation Mirage way back in 1978. Since we started selling it again in the market in 2012, its sustained sales growth is phenomenal and has shown remarkable indication that our domestic market base shall significan­tly expand soon,” Kato said.

The company remains to be the second largest seller of automotive products in the Philippine­s and it recently celebrated its 600,000th unit production in its 53 years in the local manufactur­ing industry.

MMPC is also pursuing its sales target of 70,000 units this year, a 29.4 percent growth from 2015 sales of 54,087 units. As of end-April, MMPC’s total vehicle sales have reached 19,413 units.

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