There’s no denying that the Xpander is one of those Mitsubishi vehicles that appeals the most to a lot of car buyers. This statement isn’t exclusively true in the Philippines; in fact, Mitsubishi Motors announced that it will increase its production capacity in its Indonesian plant due to the strong demand for the Xpander across the ASEAN market.
The Mitsubishi plant in Bekasi, Indonesia currently has the capacity to make 160,000 units until 2020. However, the Japanese automaker reckons that this figure isn’t enough, which then forced it to increase the number to 220,000 units in order to supply the orders from Indonesia and neighboring markets, including the Philippines. This expansion will see an extra 800 people employed at the said plant, totaling to 4,100 employees. It will also cost the automaker around 4-billion yen to fund the investment.
The production of the Xpander alone will increase from 115,000 units to 160,000 units by fiscal year 2020. Out of these numbers, 50,000 units will be exported to the rest of the ASEAN countries.
Aside from the increased capacity in the Bekasi plant, the Xpander’s engine will be produced in Nissan Motor Indonesia (NMI), a local production subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. This will increase the production ratio of localized parts to 80%, which has a huge benefit to the local supply chain. This expansion will also mean 160,000 units of Xpander engines will be made annually.
Indonesians have been really fond of the Xpander MPV. Since its launch last year, it has accumulated 100,000 orders from the country alone by the end of September 2018. Aside from being no. 1 in Indonesia’s sales volume in the month of March and July 2018, the Xpander has been hailed as the Car of the Year 2018 of the OTOMOTIF newspaper in March, and FORWOT Car of the Year 2018 of the Automotive Journalist Forum in September.
We have yet to see its actual volume number in the Philippines, but considering its popularity across various types of media, it wouldn’t be surprising if it would be one of the best-sellers in the country for 2018.
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