Mitsubishi gears up for CARS with P2-B stamping press shop

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) broke ground yesterday for its P2 billion stamping press shop facility in Laguna, putting into motion its participation in the government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program.

The construction of the stamping press shop is in compliance with one of the CARS program’s requirements, which is to produce large body parts of a vehicle instead of the usual importation.

It will be the first time a metal stamping process will be introduced  to Mitsubishi’s manufacturing process after more than five decades of operations in the country.

“This is very important because this actually signals the physical beginning of the CARS program. One performance requirement for them is to actually produce the motor vehicle using the stamping facility. After they performed the requirements, that is when they will get the incentives,” Board of Investments managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said.

“It would take almost a year to finish the building and installation of stamping press machine all together. Thereafter, there will still be additional activities before our press shop becomes fully operational by January 2018. Some of these activities include certain adjustment in machinery and equipment itself, as well as extensive training of manpower in Mitsubishi Japan who will be operating the press shop,” MMPC president and CEO Yoshiaki Kato said in a separate interview.

Kato said MMPC intends to produce an average of 30,000 units of Mirage, the model it enrolled for the program, in its Laguna plant by 2018.

He said the new Mirage model is targeted to initially have 30 to 35 percent local content but that is intended to be increased to more than 50 percent.

“As such, MMPC can assert that the Mirage and Mirage G4 is a proudly Philippine-made product worthy of patronage by our valued customers. MMPC is committed to deliver quality products and service to its customers and upbeat growth shall be expected as we placed the era of motorization in this country,” Kato said.

MMPC first vice president for marketing Froilan Dytianquin said there is a possibility that prices of the Mirage, which currently cost P530,000 at entry level, could go down in the coming years with the firm’s ability to locally produced large body parts through the stamping press shop.

Dytianquin said studies have shown that high logistics cost in producing vehicles is brought about by the bulk of shipped containers loaded with large completely-knocked-down parts.

The P2-billion stamping press shop facility is part of MMPC’s planned P4.3 billion investment in preparation for its participation in the CARS program.

Kato said the remaining P2.3 billion would be invested mostly for the setting up of new production line for the Mirage model.

MMPC is looking to increase manpower in its Laguna facility to 1,832 by the end of the six-year program from its current 956.

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