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Mitsubishi seeks extension of CARS program

Mitsubishi seeks extension of CARS program

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By Alden M. Monzon

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) has asked the Philippine government for an extension of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program that is set to end in 2023, amid plans of expanding its vehicle lineup this year.

“We asked the President, Mr. Marcos, and have requested to extend our CARS program more because during the COVID, frankly speaking, we couldn’t operate very well,” Takao Kato, president and chief executive officer of MMC, said on the sidelines of the 60th anniversary of the Japanese car company’s local unit, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC).

The MMC executive said that the President seemed receptive to their request, agreeing that the pandemic bogged down operations of the local car industry.

“He agreed that during the pandemic, economic activities almost stopped. So, I feel that he is very positive about it,” Kato said.

If the extension of the program and its provided incentives is granted, Kato said that they plan to add another assembly line in their local production and that would mean more jobs.

“Not only the Xpander line, but now we have a lot of brands to introduce. And definitely those new models will come to this MMPC manufacturing plant,” Kato said.

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The MMPC, along with the Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., qualified for fiscal incentives and budgetary support under the P27-billion program, which was signed in 2015.

Under the agreement, both automotive firms are required to produce locally 200,000 units of the Toyota Vios and the Mitsubishi Mirage models in six years.

The pandemic, however, slowed down sales thus both are in danger of missing their targets and, consequently, the forfeiture of incentives. INQ