MITSUBISHI MOTORS Philippines Corp. (MMPC) may export Mirage units locally produced under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program to Asian markets.
MMPC First Vice-President Dante C. Santos said the proposal will be raised during its meeting with the Board of Investments (BoI) on the CARS program.
“We’ll try to give them an update on how we are mobilizing local CARS makers, supporting the program. Well try to give them an update on the effect of these economics on our pricing and any future problems,” he told reporters.
Asked if the local market cannot absorb the company’s production, Mr. Santos said: “So far, kaya pa naman.”
He noted the CARS program does not require participants to sell the vehicles to the local market.
Under the CARS program, MMPC targets to produce 200,000 Mirage units within a six-year period ending 2023.
Asked which countries are viable export markets for the Mirage, the MMPC official said, “We still have to restrict ourself in Asia and look at the countries who do not produce that model… Maraming options. Vietnam is an option.”
Mr. Santos said MMPC will assess the profitability of the plan while taking into account the different tax structures and import procedures of potential markets for the Mirage.
For his part, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez welcomed the plan, saying this is “very much encouraged” to show the competitiveness of the country and to expand exports.
“This is also precisely the reason we have the manufacturing resurgence program and the CARs program so we can build a stronger manufacturing base to give us the capacity to expand our exports,” Mr. Lopez, also the BoI chair, added in an earlier mobile message.
MMPC is the second largest seller of automotive products in the country.
In the January to September period, the company sold 50,588 units, lower by 5.4% from the 53,470 units sold in the same period last year.
The local auto industry expects lower sales this year as it reels from the effects of higher excise taxes, rising fuel prices and soaring inflation. — Janina C. Lim