Nov 12, 2018 / 10:27

Mitsubishi targets full-scale production in Vietnam

Mitsubishi considers Vietnam a very important market in Southeast Asia.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors planned to expand beyond vehicle assembly in Vietnam and move to full-scale local production, including procuring parts from within the country, Nikkei Asian Review reported. 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
The move came as the Japanese automaker commits to enhance its already considerable presence in Southeast Asia. 

“To be a true winner, we must develop production and exports to certain levels in each country”, Osamu Masuko, CEO of Mitsubishi was quoted by Nikkei Asian Review as saying. 

The automaker operates an assembly plant in Vietnam jointly with the trading house Mitsubishi Corp. But the Vietnamese operations will not be limited to assembling modules in a "knock-down kit" production method, Masuko said. Sourcing more materials locally would let the company handle more upstream processes for components.

Previously, a source at Misubishi Motors Vietnam confirmed with Hanoitimes that it aimed to expand local production in Vietnam since the company considers Vietnam a very important market in Southeast Asia, alongside the  markets of Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

"We are currently studying the potential and ways to contribute to the development of the country's auto industry," added the source. However, regarding the second automobile plant, Mitsubishi Motors declined to comment as no details have been decided to date.

The reported US$250-million plant with a designed capacity of 30,000-50,000 vehicles a year is expected to meet the strongly growing demand in Vietnam as well as to expand the group's presence in the region.

In the meantime and in the near future, Mitsubishi Motors will focus on its current factory in Binh Duong. The group is now assembling cars of Outlander brand "as we continuously make remarkable steps to reaffirm our long-term commitment to Vietnam."

Mitsubishi Vietnam's first plant in the southern province of Binh Duong has an annual capacity of 5,000 automobiles.

Southeast Asia serves as a stronghold for Mitsubishi Motors, accounting for one-fifth of the group's revenue and sales volume in fiscal 2017. Revenue from the region jumped 45% for the year to 506.2 billion yen ($4.45 billion) while unit sales grew 33% to 275,000.

In a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue late August, Mitsubishi’s Executive Vice President Hiroshima Sakuma said the company planned to invest in an electric car manufacturing factory in Vietnam, adding that the automaker is evaluating the feasibility of the project.