Mitsubishi Motors has revealed the first few images of its bet in the small-car segment, which will be built in the Japanese carmaker's third factory in Thailand.
The third factory will be built adjacent to the first and second factories at the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate in Chonburi province. Expected to be operational by March 2012, the plant will solely produce the 1.0- to 1.2-liter "global small" compact vehicle, which will be launched in 2011. While the plant's initial capacity will be around 150,000 units per year, it can be boosted to produce up to 200,000 units per year.
The "global small" car is based on a completely new platform using "compact," "affordability," and "fuel efficiency" as the vehicle's basic concepts and will conform to Thailand's Eco-car Project, which is being implemented by the Thai government to promote investment in the country's automobile industry. It is also seen as a way for the government to push the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The vehicle will be positioned as an entry model in Mitsubishi's lineup. The carmaker plans to export as it is a "strategic vehicle that corresponds to both market needs of emerging countries, for which demand for automobiles is expected to increase, and advanced nations, where vehicle downsizing is increasing in order to correspond to energy issues in addition to environmental awareness."
"It's a great honor to have this memorable day for the construction of the third factory,” said Mitsubishi Motors president Osamu Masuko. "From the beginning, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has strongly believed in Thailand's potential as the production hub for global markets; now Mitsubishi Motors Thailand became the production base of our 1-ton pickup. We share the Thai government's environmental concerns and we have made Thailand the global production hub for the "global small.'"