Just over a week ago, Nikkei.com published a story that said Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC, the parent company of MMPC) has officially announced that they will be expanding Philippine production with 'the building of a second assembly plant on the outskirts of Manila',an investment that will cost JPY 20 billion or PhP 8.93 billion.
The Nikkei report also stated that the plant will be completed will be sometime in 2015 and will produce models including subcompact cars, sport utility vehicles and others, with a total annual capacity of 100,000 units, and will progressively increase up to 200,000.
Soon after, however, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation soon issued a statement denying the 'official announcement' that Nikkei published. The brief MMC statement and response to the Nikkei.com article is as follows:
There has been no announcement from MMC regarding the content of this article. MMC is studying expanding production capacity in the Philippines; however nothing specific has been decided as of this time.
The Nikkei article differs significantly from the story we published a few weeks prior about MMC and their local arm, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC), eyeing the mothballed Ford plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna. More importantly, making an 'official announcement' could compromise the bargaining position of MMC and MMPC regarding the incentive packages that the Philippine auto industry has been lobbying for.
As it stands, the government has put a $1000 incentive package for each unit produced, quite a bit off considering that the industry is asking for $1500-1800 per unit. Based on reports from the meeting that took place between the government and the industry last August 16 (it was moved from its original date on August 14) the matter is still under discussion, though it has been elevated to a proposal for NEDA with the presence of President Benigno Aquino III.
However one thing is certain from the statement: Mitsubishi is truly looking to expand production on the Philippines. The model they are eyeing for Philippine production is the Mirage G4.