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DTI encourages Mitsubishi to start producing Xpander in the Philippines

According to a trade official, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is enticing Mitsubishi Motors Corp. of Japan to construct the Xpander, a multifunctional vehicle, in the Philippines.

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This is because Mitsubishi promised to make investments in its local manufacturing business during President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s recent official working visit to Tokyo, Japan.

In a conversation with trade reporters earlier this week, Special Trade Representative Dita Angara-Mathay stated that Mitsubishi intends to start producing a new model to achieve its volume promise under the Comprehensive Automotive Revival Strategy (CARS) program.

Since the Xpander is so well-liked, Angara-Mathay said, “we’re really hoping that they will produce the next-generation Xpander here.” She said that Mitsubishi has production facilities for this model in Indonesia.

She did note that the continuation of the CARS program is a requirement for Mitsubishi’s expansion plans.

According to Angara-Mathay, the Japanese automaker is asking for the CARS initiative to be extended by two to three years.

Hence, she continued, “it truly depends on the continuation of our CARS program.” “It’s crucial that we receive a definitive decision about the continuation of the CARS program.”

One of the two automakers taking part in the CARS program for the local production of its Mirage vehicle is Mitsubishi.

For their enrolled car models, participating automakers under CARS must sell a minimum of 200,000 units in order to qualify for government financial incentives.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), which also affected the auto industry, slowed down vehicle sales as the pandemic swept the country.

According to Angara-Mathay, Mitsubishi is requesting that the CARS program be continued for an additional two to three years in order to reach its volume goals and make up for its losses sustained during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A six-year agreement for the CARS initiative was made in 2015.

The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) on Automotive Industry Development is working on issuing of an executive order for the program’s continuation, the DTI stated at the time it was set to expire in 2021.

Marcos was researching the possible expansion of the CARS program last week in Tokyo.

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