Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has purchased Ford Motor Co.’s non-operational assembly site in Laguna, Philippines as part of its bid to increase sales in Southeast Asia. Mitsubishi targets to commence output in 2015 at the Laguna site, which will have initial production capacity of 50,000 units annual. It will be eventually expanded to 100,000 vehicles annually.
Mitsubishi’s Laguna site will build the Adventure compact crossover van and the L300 van. The site will be Mitsubishi’s second plant in the Philippines, after its Cainta factory that could produce 30,000 units annually. The carmaker’s expansion is aimed at underpinning Mitsubishi’s strength in Southeast Asia, which is a key pillar of its mid-term business plan.
Mitsubishi holds a 21-percent share in the Philippine auto market, making it the second-best selling brand in the country next to Toyota. According to Mitsubishi, the Philippines -- the second most-populous nation in Southeast Asia after Indonesia – carries a great potential because motorization is just about to take off.
A spokeswoman for Mitsubishi denied as incorrect a report by the Nikkei business daily that that the Japanese carmaker paid between JPY10 billion and JPY15 billion yen ($97.3 million and $145.9 million) for the Laguna site. Ford terminated production in Laguna in December 2012. [source: Reuters]