By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

MITSUBISHI Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) is eyeing a higher market share this year as the car manufacturer is banking on increased demand for its vehicles.

Jack S. Ramirez, Jr., MMPC first vice-president for sales and marketing, said the company is aiming for a 16% market share by the end of its fiscal year in March, and an 18% share by 2025.

“Our fiscal year is from April to March [of the following year]. We’re pushing hard in the remaining month to attain this. By 2025, we are eyeing 18% market share for MMPC,” he said in a chance interview on the sidelines of the company’s 60th anniversary at its Sta. Rosa, Laguna plant on Friday last week.

According to Mr. Ramirez, MMPC is aiming to sell 59,800 units in 2023, relying on its Xpander multipurpose vehicle and Mirage G4 subcompact sedan to boost sales and reach its target market share.

The Xpander accounts for 36% of overall sales while the G4 contributes 31%, he said.

“We’re looking at a total of 58,700 units sold but we are pushing it to 59,800 units sold because we see an increase in the demand. The market conditions are good. In terms of growth, I think it is 22% growth,” Mr. Ramirez said.

He said that there is still pent-up demand from consumers who opted not to purchase vehicles at the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“There are also other business sectors. We have seen a lot of increase in demand for business use. So, we’re also pushing the pickups and L300. These can be for cargo or passenger use,” Mr. Ramirez said.

Based on data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc., MMPC had the second-highest sales among car manufacturers last year with a 15.09% market share equivalent to 53,211 units sold.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ramirez said that MMPC is urging the government to delay the proposed lifting of the excise tax exemption on pickup trucks if it pushes through.

He disclosed that MMPC’s Strada pickup model contributes roughly 15% to the company’s total sales.

“If the government can consider postponing the implementation of the excise tax on pickups until next year, that would be best for the automotive industry. We want to continue the good sales of the pickups in our market,” Mr. Ramirez said.

“The delay is to give time for the public to prepare,” he added.

Mr. Ramirez said that there would be a price increase of over P200,000 for pickup trucks if the government opts to impose excise taxes.

“Definitely, it would affect our pickup segment. The segment might suffer since it will be applied to all brands,” Mr. Ramirez said.

In November last year, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill 4339 or the fourth package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Package program, which calls for the removal of the excise tax exemption enjoyed by double cab pickup trucks.

Currently, double cab pickup trucks are exempted from excise tax under Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law in a bid to help small business owners and professionals.

The Finance department previously said that P52.6 billion in revenues will be generated until 2026 if pickup trucks are charged with an excise tax.