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Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) has acquired a factory site from Ford Motor Company Philippines, located in Laguna Province. This site will house MMPC’s headquarters and factory, relocated from Cainta, Rizal Province. Production is due to start in January 2015.

This strengthening of production capability in the country is part of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC)’s “New Stage 2016” next mid-term business plan, which aims to reinforce ASEAN output, according to MMPC.

The Lancer EX, Adventure compact MPV and L300 commercial vehicle are built in the Philippines. Last year, Mitsubishi commanded a 20.5% market share there, and posted sales of 42,360 units.

Meanwhile in Thailand, MMC has invested over 500 million baht (RM50.3 million) establishing its first R&D test course outside Japan – also part of “New Stage 2016.” The facility is located in Nhongkham Amphur, Chonburi, about 26 km from the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate (Mitsubishi Factory 3 pictured above).

“As MMC aims to reinforce R&D function by transferring some part to Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (MMTh), now we are in the first phase of the plan,” said MMth president Masahiko Ueki, adding that the test course is aimed at developing the scope of minor-change models in advance, as well as improving ASEAN-targeted products more rapidly by benchmarking testing and evaluation.

The organisational reinforcement has also lead to partial transfer of the R&D function from MMC to MMTh, with the workforce expected to increase from about 50 to more than 100 next year. The test course construction is expected to finish by the first quarter next year.