Mitsubishi putting BoI plug-in EV perks to use

Mitsubishi putting BoI plug-in EV perks to use

Mitsubishi's manufacturing line in Chon Buri. The car maker plans to localise PHEV manufacturing by March 2021. Somchai Poomlard
Mitsubishi's manufacturing line in Chon Buri. The car maker plans to localise PHEV manufacturing by March 2021. Somchai Poomlard

Mitsubishi Motors Thailand has announced a plan to localise manufacturing of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) at its Laem Chabang site, expecting to start production sometime in its fiscal year 2020, which ends in March 2021.

The latest move came after Mitsubishi won Board of Investment (BoI) privileges for plug-in hybrid EV investment applications worth 3.1 billion baht.

The plug-in hybrid EV production facility will be located in Chon Buri, the same production site for Mitsubishi's pickups, eco-cars and pickup passenger vehicles (PPVs).

Mitsubishi is the fourth manufacturer to be awarded BoI incentives for plug-in hybrids, after Mercedes-Benz, BMW and SAIC Motor-CP.

President and chief executive Morikazu Chokki said the car maker is preparing for this localisation, but did not reveal plug-in hybrid models planned for the Thai market.

Mitsubishi's Outlander sport utility vehicle has a plug-in hybrid EV version and the i-MiEV and minicab-MiEV as battery EVs.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corporation plans to submit three EV projects worth a total of 11 billion baht to the BoI.

The plug-in hybrid EV project won BoI privileges in March, leaving projects for battery and hybrid EVs awaiting BoI approvals.

Yesterday, Mitsubishi launched a refreshed PPV Pajero Sport model, priced 1.299-1.599 million baht.

The Pajero Sport is also made at the Laem Chabang plant.

Egathi Rattana-Aree, executive vice-president for domestic sales and after-sales, said Mitsubishi aims to sell 1,300-1,400 units per month for the Pajero Sport.

According to the industry report, the PPV segment rose by 9.5% to 32,867 units sold in the first half.

"Mitsubishi captured a 21% share in the PPV segment," said Mr Egathi.

Toyota holds the largest share for PPVs, while Mitsubishi came in second.

Mitsubishi sold 45,343 cars from January to June, up by 10.3% from the same period last year.

"Mitsubishi is confident of sales of roughly 94,000 units in 2019, capturing a market share of over 9%," he said.

Mitsubishi exported 151,000 vehicles in the first half, up by 9% from the same period last year.

Mitsubishi's shipment volume for this period surpassed Toyota's, becoming the country's largest car exporter and pushing Toyota into second place.

Toyota reported shipment of 138,538 units in the first half, a 5% decline.

Mitsubishi made up 27% of the country's total exports of 559,861 units for the period, down by 0.4%. Toyota accounted for 24.7%.

Mitsubishi aims to maintain export volume at 287,000 cars in 2019.


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