Mitsubishi Motors Philippines has been undergoing a transformation recently, but not in terms of new model launches.
The company hasn't had many in the way of new cars apart from the mildly facelifted Mirage G4 last year as well as the updated Xpander this year. And from what we understand, they might not have anything major to launch until next year with the all-new Strada/L200 which hasn't been revealed yet.
So what's an automaker to do in the meantime? They focus on other aspects they can improve on like after-sales service. Actually, that's something Mitsubishi is devoting their efforts towards, as they have announced they are working to speed up service for certain basic maintenance tasks at their dealerships.
Apart from that, it seems they're also putting a lot of effort into strengthening and revamping the brand's image in the Philippines. This effort seems to be in line with their diamond jubilee next year. Yes, Mitsubishi Motors is the oldest current automaker that has had a continuous presence in the Philippine market, a history that stretches back to 1963.
That's also why we're seeing some rather special family-themed videos from the company to celebrate that 60-year history in the country.
One video shows how being a Mitsubishi Motors Philippines employee has become a family affair, telling the story of how sons follow their fathers to work for the company. This is actually based on the real stories of many MMPC employees whose children actually also work for MMPC later on.
Another video called Opo Ma was timed for Mother's Day, though the one that really caught our eye was actually untitled on YouTube, apart from the hashtag #LifeMadeBetter. In that video, a lady took her Strada on a road trip to meet her parents with her significant other.
The different bit is that the S.O. was another lady. Yeah, it had an LGBT theme which isn't common for a car company in the Philippines, much less a deeply Japanese one. We can only imagine the kind of approval process such a commercial video would have undergone, particularly with headquarters in Tokyo. Just last week, we were able to finally meet the new president of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines, Mr. Takeshi Hara, and so we asked him how that went. His answer surprised even us.
“Yes, I approved it,” said the president of MMPC without hesitation.
Generally speaking, Japanese auto companies and executives tend to lean on the conservative side and shy away from anything that could be controversial. But Hara-san recounted his experiences on overseas assignments for Mitsubishi Motors like in North America, Puerto Rico, and Thailand, and how he made friends with people from all walks of life and beliefs regarding politics, religion, and sexual orientations.
“At the end of the day, we are all people,” said Hara-san.
Globally, Mitsubishi Motors is working towards greater diversity, and it's good to see a bit of that openness and inclusivity here in the Philippines. Maybe we'll see even more from other automakers in the near future.