After our story on Mitsubishi's keen interest in the former Ford Motor Company Philippines manufacturing facility in Santa Rosa, Laguna, it's now official.
In a press release, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has formally announced their acquisition of the ex-Ford plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation will be relocating their headquarters from Cainta to the new facility.
Below is the official press release from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation:
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced that Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) has acquired a factory site from FORD MOTOR COMPANY (PHILIPPINES), INC. located in Laguna (Laguna Province). Following the relocation of MMPC's current headquarters/factory in Cainta (Rizal Province) to this site, vehicle production is set to begin in January 2015.
MMC has operated production and sales in the Philippines for many years and has grown continuously along with the automobile market development of the country, becoming the first car manufacturer in the country to achieve a cumulative production volume of 500,000 units. The move this time to relocate MMPC's headquarters/factory and reform its production capability reflects MMC's will to prepare for its further growth in the promising Philippine market.
One major pillar of MMC's New Stage 2016 next mid-term business plan, which is to start from April 2014 is to reinforce its production base in ASEAN countries. Strengthening local production capability in the Philippines will be a part of that pillar. With the long history of operation rooted in the market, MMC has successfully attained high market share in the country. Moving forward, MMC plans to expand its presence in the Philippines by further strengthening its operating base in the country through various measures including but not limited to the restructuring of its production capability this time.
UPDATE: Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) likewise issued their own press release about the acquisition:
Recognizing the sustained growth in the economy and the coming age of motorization in the Philippines, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) acquires the 21-hectare closed manufacturing plant of Ford Motor Company Philippines situated in Greenfield Automotive Park in Sta. Rosa Laguna.
The acquisition of the plant is part of Mitsubishi Motor Corporation’s (MMC of Japan) strategy to further strengthen MMPC’s role of expanding sales and production capacity which is part of its new stage of growth mid-term plan until the end of 2016 fiscal year. MMC has recognized MMPC’s strong performance in the Philippines with its continuous growth in spite of the increasing market competition.
MMPC managed to establish new records in its operations last year when it celebrated its 50th year of continuous operations in the country. MMPC achieved total sales of 43,176 units last year, breaking the previous sales record of 36,533 units established in 1996. This sales performance garnered MMPC a total market share of 20 percent while also establishing its 7th consecutive growth since year 2006.
MMPC is looking forward to the new Philippine government auto policy which is aimed at strengthening the local auto manufacturing operations to make it competitive against other Asian and ASEAN countries. Strengthening the auto manufacturing operations through this new auto policy, will eventually provide huge job employment opportunities not only to car assemblers, but also to the industry related companies and businesses such as first, second and third tier suppliers.
The Philippines, in spite of its new record sales achieved last year of around 212,000 units, is still far behind Thailand and Indonesia in terms of auto market sales, but is projected to rapidly grow in the coming years given its close to 100 million population.
Currently, MMPC’s 18 hectare plant is located at the growing residential area of Cainta, Rizal and has a capacity to produce 30,000 units annually. Last year, MMPC has produced around 15,000 units given its existing completely knocked down (CKD) models such as the L300, Adventure and Lancer EX. MMPC plans to relocate to this new site and start vehicle production by January 2015.
Mr. Hikosaburo Shibata, MMPC President and Chief Executive Officer said that “The acquisition of the Sta. Rosa factory will further strengthen our assembly operations, utilizing heavy stamping machines, advanced equipment and facilities engineering that will support MMC’s business objectives for the new mid-term business plan.”
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) was founded in May 1972 and is owned by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) with a 51% share while Sojitz Corporation owns 49%. The company operates out of their headquarters and production facility in Cainta, Rizal, headed by current president Mr. Hikosaburo Shibata.
Locally the company assembles the Lancer EX, Adventure and L300. The Mirage, Mirage G4, Montero Sport, L200 and Strada are sourced from Thailand while the ASX and Pajero are from Japan.