Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. unveiled a plan to export locally-assembled Mirage subcompact cars.
Mitsubishi first vice president for sales and marketing Dante Santos said the company decided to inform the Board of Investments of its plan to export Mirage vehicles as a participant in the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy.
“We have to open all these doors. We have to look at every influencing element on the program. As a major participant, we have an obligation to update the government,” he said.
Participants in the Cars program and the government are required to conduct the next periodic update before end-2018.
The export of the sub-compact car is one of the major topics that Mitsubishi plans to put on the table.
Mitsubishi Motors, the Japanese parent company, already approved the export plan of the Philippine unit.
“What is definite is that we will restrict exportation within Asia only. There are many markets here willing to accommodate the Mirage as another vehicle of choice,” Santos said.
Santos said exporting Mirage would also help the local economy, as the brand had high local content. This would allow the growth of local parts suppliers, he said.
The Mirage model achieved a 32-percent to 37-percent localization across nine variants, as the company invested in body shell and large plastic parts. It outsources parts like steering wheel, suspension and radiator to local suppliers.
The target under the Cars program is to achieve 50-percent localization based on bill of materials of program-enrolled models.
The Philippines used to export cars in the past before Ford Philippines packed up and abandoned manufacturing in the Philippines.
Mitsubishi committed to produce 200,000 units of the Mirage within six years under the Cars program.
It received approval to join the program in June 2016, with the Mirage hatchback and Mirage G4 sedan variants as the enrolled models.
The company said capital expenditure hit P5.74 billion as of September 2017.