Mitsubishi to increase Xpander production amid high demand. Mitsubishi Motors Indonesia, the local arm of Japanese automotive giant Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, plans to boost the production of the Xpander, its latest low-multipurpose vehicle (LMPV), in response to high demand despite an overall sluggish outlook in the automotive industry.
“Last year, we received requests from our customers to accelerate Xpander delivery because the indent [waiting time] was a bit too long,” said Naoya Nakamura, the president director of Mitsubishi’s local authorized distributor, Mitsubishi Krama Yudha Sales Indonesia (MMKSI).
Nakamura was hoping that the increase in production capacity would speed up delivery, which often took two months.
The company’s factory in Cikarang, West Java, currently produces the Xpander and SUVs, such as the Pajero Sport, and Nissan’s LMPV Livina.
However, more than 50 percent of the factory’s capacity would be allocated for the Xpander’s production to meet domestic and export demands, Nakamura said.
The Xpander’s retail sales reached 100,000 units as of early March. The first model was introduced to Indonesia in September 2017.
Last year alone, the Xpander recorded 75,772 retail sales with a 27.8 percent market share in the LMPV segment, according to a statement made available by MMKSI.
The local sales arm of Mitsubishi sold 98.964 passenger cars last year, a jump of 174.7 percent from the 36,084 units in 2017.
It attributed this growth to sales of the Xpander, followed by the 4×2 and 4×4 versions of the Pajero Sport, Outlander Sport, city car Mirage and high MPV Delica.
In the light commercial vehicles (LCV) category, MMKSI sold 47,841 cars last year, up 9.6 percent from 43,723 units in 2017.
The largest contribution in the LCV category came from the Colt L300 small pickup truck, followed by the 4×4 Triton compact pickup truck, the Colt T-120SS mini pickup truck and the 4×2 Triton.
Nakamura said the company was hoping to book overall sales of 150,000 units this year, comprising 108,000 passenger cars and 42,000 LCVs.
However, compared to what it achieved last year, the target this year is a big uptick. Last year, it booked an 84.3 percent growth in sales to 146,805 units, from 79,807 units seen a year earlier.
“We are not pessimistic and not too optimistic. The market will be stable,” Nakamura said.
The Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo) echoes theses sentiment.
Gaikindo previously stated that the domestic sales of cars might reach 1.1 million units this year, lower than 1.15 million last year. However, this year’s projection is higher than the 1.07 million and 1.06 million units recorded in 2017 and 2016, respectively.
Mitsubishi Motors Indonesia ranked fourth in terms of retail sales in Indonesia behind Toyota, Daihatsu and Honda, with a 12.7 percent market share last year, according to Gaikindo.
Nakamura said MMKSI would launch new products this year as part of its efforts to reach its sales target.
He also hinted that the company planned to introduce electric cars to the country as it was waiting for the government to complete regulations on the matter.
Mitsubishi Motors previously donated eight low carbon emission vehicles (LCEVs), two electric cars and four charging stations to the Industry Ministry as part of a joint study into the possible development of electric vehicle infrastructure.
The 10 vehicles include eight seven-seater Mitsubishi Outlanders with plug-in hybrid electric technology and two four-seater electric Mitsubishi i-MiEVs. Mitsubishi to increase Xpander production amid high demand (ars, The Jakarta Post)