Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (TYO:7211) announced that it will acquire the closed plant of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) in the Philippines to expand its business operations in a country where car ownership is growing.
According to the Japanese automaker, the factory of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) in the Philippines is located in the province of Laguna, which is south of Manila. Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (TYO:7211) said it will relocate its current headquarters in Cainta, Rizal to Laguna after the acquisition.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) shut down its factory in the Philippines in 2012. The Japanese automaker did not provide additional details regarding the transaction. It plans to start the production of its vehicles in the new location by January 2015.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (TYO:7211) accounts for 20.5% market share in the auto industry in the Philippines. Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) dominates the market. Other automakers are seeking to expand in the country due to expected increase in car ownership. The 7.2% growth rate of the economy of the Philippines is the second fastest in Asia, trailing only China.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (TYO:7211) is the first car manufacturer in the Philippines to a achieve a cumulative production volume of 500,000 units. The Japanese automaker said the improvement of its production capability demonstrates its preparation for further growth as it believes that the market in the country is promising.
The Japanese automaker established its production and sales operations in the Philippines in 1972. Its annual production capacity in the country is 30,000 units per year. Its product lineup in the Philippines includes Lancer EX, Adventure, and L300.
Mitsubishi Motors to stop Lancer Evolution production
Separately, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (TYO:7211) decided to cease the production of Lancer Evolution, the brand’s all-wheel drive performance sedan. Namie Koketsu, spokesperson for the automaker said, “Mitsubishi Motors does not have any plans to design a successor with the current concept, as a high-performance four-wheel drive gasoline-powered sedan. Mitsubishi Motors will explore the possibilities of high-performance models that incorporate electric vehicle technology.”