This Made-in-Indonesia Car is Selling Like Hotcakes Across Southeast Asia
Remember back in August this year when Mitsubishi said it was ramping up production of the hot-selling Xpander? Well, it turns out that still isn't enough to keep up with demand.
The Japanese carmaker has just announced it is expanding the production capacity of its all-new MPV from 160,000 units to 220,000 units by fiscal year 2020. Production volume is pegged to shoot up to 160,000 units by 2020, and exports will rise to 50,000 units. And to think this is just to meet demand for the ASEAN region.
All this will be happening at the company's manufacturing facility in Bekasi, a satellite city just east of the capital city Jakarta, which will see a handful of improvements and additional funding in order to meet expectations. Mitsubishi Motors will spend around $35 million to increase the production capacity of an Indonesian plant, lifting output of the popular Xpander minivan 40% for exports to broader markets.
The company said Wednesday that by fiscal 2020 local unit Mitsubishi Motors Krama Yudha Indonesia will have an upgraded annual production capacity of 220,000 units, with the Xpander accounting for 160,000 of the total, both up 40%. The staff will be increased by 800 to support the increased production.
In addition to nearby markets like Thailand and the Philippines, the model will be shipped to the Middle East and South America. Some production capacity for other models, like the Pajero Sport, will be reallocated to increase the Xpander output.
Mitsubishi Motors will source Xpander engines from an Indonesian production facility of partner Nissan Motor. Starting in the summer of 2020, the Nissan plant will supply 160,000 Xpander engines annually. Currently, the engines are shipped from Kyoto, Japan.
Under this arrangement, about 80% of Xpander parts will be sourced locally, up from 70% currently. This will mark the first time Mitsubishi Motors uses engines built by Nissan.
With the looks of a sport utility vehicle and the functionality of a minivan, the seven-seat Xpander has proved popular in Indonesia. Cumulative orders since August 2017 to end of this September have exceeded 100,000 units in Indonesia alone. Mitsubishi Motors rolled out the model in the Philippines and Thailand by this summer.
With models derived from SUVs selling well in Southeast Asia, Mitsubishi Motors sold 250,000, or a fifth of its global sales in fiscal 2017, in the three markets of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Mitsubishi Motors, which joined the Nissan-Renault alliance in 2016, said it will also begin production of the engine for the Xpander at a plant run by a local subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co., Nissan Motor Indonesia, in 2020.
Source : Top Gear Philippines | Japan Times | Nikkei Asian Review