Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) inaugurated its new manufacturing plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna as part of a PhP 701 million investment. The new facility will also be its new corporate headquarters starting April 1, 2015.

President Benigno Aquino III together with Japan ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa and other government officials were present during the event.

The acquisition of the 21-hectare facility is part of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation's (MMC) "New Stage 2016" mid-term plan of reinforcing business in the Philippines as a core market following Thailand and Indonesia. MMC has recognized MMPC's continuous strong performace and growth in the country in spite of the increasing market competition with the presence of company Chairman Osamu Masuko.

The Santa Rosa plant is part of MMPC's preparation for further expansion brought upon by the fast growing local automotive industry and the increasing demand for brand new vehicles.

"The inauguration of MMPC's new plant reflects our commitment to continue vehicle manufacturing operations in the Philippines at the same time prepare for further business expansion with the projected rapid increase in vehicle demand in the coming years," Hikosaburo Shibata, MMPC President and CEO said.

Mitsubishi Santa Rosa plant

MMPC says its new plant can produce up to 50,000 units annually, a 20,000 unit capacity increase from its previous Cainta plant. Subsequently, the company will be upgrading its equipment to further improve the assembly process. One of the upgrades is a new PhP 132.6M automated plastic parts paint robot, the first of its kind in the Philippine automotive manufacturing process. The company said that these robots will be able to make the painting process quicker and more consistent. Moreover, MMPC announced that the plant will soon feature a body measuring machine.

Aside from the new equipments, MMPC will now adopt the 3C 1B process (3 Coat; 1 Baked) in its paint shop which increases the efficiency and environmental friendliness of the vehicle painting process.

The new plant aims to output 16,230 vehicles by the end of 2015, while the company forecasted sales of 62,000 units this year with five new dealerships within the year. The automaker has set a goal of selling 100,000 vehicles by 2020.

A future expansion includes a stamping plant where the company plans to invest Php 1.62 billion in a 2.77 hectare facility which could produce up to 450,000 parts per year. This is of course dependent on a viable auto industry roadmap from the Philippine government which has been in the works since 2010.