Mitsubishi PH president wants new model, more units made in Cainta

By Vernon B. Sarne

Mitsubishi manufacturing plant in Cainta

As far as Mitsubishi Motors Philippines president and CEO Hikosaburo Shibata is concerned, the Philippines should have a more robust manufacturing industry with a bigger production volume than what is currently being churned out by the handful of automakers that have assembly plants here.

"Two or three years from now, I want MMPC to produce 50,000 units annually," he told at last night's thanksgiving party for the Mirage's recent selection as Philippine Car of the Year. Right now, MMPC's plant in Cainta, which started operations in 1964, makes around 15,000 units a year of the Adventure, the L300, the Fuso, and the Lancer.

Part of his plan is for MMPC to assemble a new Mitsubishi model soon, although he wouldn't say which model this might be.

"We support the Philippine government's road map that projects the local auto industry to sell 500,000 vehicles by 2020," Shibata said. But for that to happen, the Japanese executive pointed out that the country needs to have a strong manufacturing industry.

"Currently, it is very difficult to manufacture in the Philippines because production costs here are about 10% to 14% higher than those in other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand," Shibata shared. The Philippine government, he said, needs to be more protective of the country's manufacturers. "The Philippines is too open to imported products, to the detriment of local manufacturers."

Shibata also said that the Philippines will benefit more from being a manufacturing country than just relying on business process outsourcing (call centers).

"In the BPO industry, only those with a college degree usually get a job," he explained. "In the manufacturing industry, even those who did not finish elementary or high school can get a job."

Wow. We like this guy. The President should have a dialogue with him, don't you think?

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines president Hikosaburo Shibata


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  • The Stig May 30 2013 @ 04:06pm
    kudos to this guy!.
  • Rofo10904 May 30 2013 @ 05:20pm
    he has the right idea and the right plan for the future of the Philippine auto industry not only for mmpc. i salute you!

    i hope that his vision is not too much "MATUWID NA DAAN" for the Philippine government to handle...
  • foolishofficer May 30 2013 @ 05:55pm
    Aside from those models stated by the author, what other Mitsu models can we possibly manufacture that is high volume? Montero Sports, Mirage and Adventure/Fuzion successor perhaps?
  • nikiboy May 30 2013 @ 07:00pm
    Nice move, Mr. Shibata- san. You are right, our government must protect local manufacturing activities and not just rely on the BPO industries, which have a very high employee turn-over rate.
  • Kyoichi Sudo May 30 2013 @ 07:49pm
    You're the man! :)))
  • roadrage May 31 2013 @ 09:55am
    call it protectionism on buying only locally produced car but we really need to do it to boost our economy. f**k globalization. di tayo nagbebenefit dun. its time to produce our own and use our own. Nice one Mitsubishi!
  • lra Jun 02 2013 @ 11:39pm
    Well said Mr. Shibata-san! The Philippines really needs to develop its manufacturing industry. This is one way of lessening the legions of Filipinos whose ambition is only to drive tricycles as their source of income.
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