It seems Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation is working on a plan: to bring the Attrage, or the 4-door saloon version of the popular Mirage hatchback, to the Philippines not just to be sold, but to be proudly Philippine-made as well.

The report comes as news to us, given the prohibitive nature of local automotive production. Cars made in the Philippines typically incur an extra aggregate cost of about US$ 1,500 to 1,800 per unit basis when compared to the regional hub for automotive production: Thailand. The extra costs include utilities (the Philippines has one of the highest rates for electricity), higher labor fees, increased logistics costs and corporate taxes.

The Philippine auto industry is awaiting the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) package for local auto manufacturers, a key ingredient of which would how attractive the incentives would be and whether it could match the $1500-1800 cost handicap per unit.

If and only if the incentivepackage is good enough to offset the costs, our sources say the plan to assemble the Mirage G4/Attrage here could proceed.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation currently imports the Montero Sport, Pajero, Strada, Mirage hatchback and a few other models, while the Lancer, L300, and Adventure are all assembled at their Cainta plant and headquarters.

Of the many auto brands in the Philippines, only a select few have established assembly plants here: Toyota Motors Philippines Corporation (Vios, Innova), Nissan Motors Philippines Corporation (Almera, Sentra, Grand Livina, X-trail), Honda Cars Philippines (City) and Isuzu Philippines Corporation (D-MAX, Crosswind, etc.).

Read our first drive of the upcoming Mitsubishi Mirage G4 in Thailand here.