Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. plans to ask the Trade Department to provide incentives to rationalize the cost of bringing in hybrid vehicles into the country.

"We plan to ask the Department for assistance as a group. We will be coursing our concern through Campi [Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc.]," said MMPC president Yoshiaki Kato.

Mitsubishi specifically plans to bring in MiEV series of electric vehicles and Hybrid Outlander that can run both on petrol or electricity.

Hybrid Outlander is manufactured in Japan.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi said it would maintain the production of L-300 chassis cab in the Philippines amid strong demand for multi-functional vehicles that can serve both commercial and personal use.

Mitsubishi will phase out non-Euro-4 compliant vehicles, among them Adventure and L-300 chassis cab, which are still being manufactured in the Philippines.

Mitsubishi chairman and chief executive Osamu Masuko said while the company would temporarily stop the production of L-300 by end-2017, it would resume production of the vehicle as soon as a Euro-4 engine designed for L-300 vehicles became available.

"We have to meet the gas emission regulation in making a new model and combine this with Euro-4 compliant engine. This will be the new generation L-300," he said.

The research and development hub of Mitsubishi in Nagoya, Japan is leading the design of the engine as well as other body and technical parts that should be improved.

Osamu said President Benigno Aquino III cited the potential of L-300 for export.

"However, to continue with the production of the Adventure will be difficult, I believe," Osamu said.

Mitsubishi currently focuses on the promotion of mid-sized hybrid Outlander.

Mitsubishi recently recalibrated its production strategy by consolidating manufacturing in Asean as it closed operations in the Netherlands, Australia and the US.

The Philippines is being groomed as hub for small car production, while Thailand will be the hub for trucks and Indonesia for multi-purpose vehicles.

As the hub for small cars, MMPC would produce the Mirage hatchback and Mirage G4, after the company qualified for incentives under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy program of the Philippine government.

Source: The Standard