Xpander could be next vehicle under CARS program

The government wants to add another very popular nameplate to the “Philippine-made” list. And yes, unlike the Tamaraw, this one is currently being sold in the country.

The model we're talking about is the Mitsubishi Xpander. Based on the latest auto sales reports, the Xpander continues to perform well in the country, taking its place as the best-selling model that's not made by Toyota.

Currently, the Xpander units being sold in the country are made in Indonesia, but the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is enticing Mitsubishi Motors Corporation to produce it here. However, that possibility, according to DTI Special Trade Representative Dita Angara-Mathay, will depend on a certain matter – the CARS program.

Mitsu Xpander PH production image

As we all know, Mitsubishi is one of the two participating carmakers under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program that grants fiscal incentives from the government. But because of the pandemic, Mitsubishi, along with Toyota, was not able to meet the volume target required to qualify for an incentive, and thus, are requesting an extension.

The trade official said Mitsubishi aims to bring in the production of a new model to meet the CARS program requirements, and DTI is hoping it would be the Xpander.

Mitsu Xpander PH production image

Mitsubishi, along with Toyota, has committed to invest more in its manufacturing operations in the country during President Marcos' most recent visit to Japan. However, unlike Toyota which has already announced they are building a new Tamaraw, Mitsubishi is yet to give details about the said expansion plan... if any.