JAKARTA (Reuters) - Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) will start exporting its new multipurpose vehicle from its Indonesian plant next year, and plans to eventually supply the model to the group’s new parent Nissan Motor (7201.T), Mitsubishi’s chief executive said.
Mitsubishi on Thursday launched the “Xpander”, a new 1.5 liter MPV model, at an car show in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta.
“We will export this car across ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries starting next February,” Mitsubishi Chief Executive Osamu Masuko said at the launch. The company will start exporting to the Philippines, followed by Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Indonesia overtook Thailand as Southeast Asia’s largest car market in recent years and is also growing as a regional production base.
Mitsubishi aims to produce around 80,000 units of the new model per year, and export 20,000 cars out of the annual production.
The Xpander “will be the first alliance model with Renault-Nissan”, Masuko said.
Last year, Nissan bought a controlling stake in Mitsubishi for $2.3 billion after the smaller automaker admitted to cheating on mileage tests.
“It will eventually be supplied to Nissan Motors for the Indonesian market,” Masuko said, adding that Nissan had yet to decide the timing and the volumes it wanted. Nissan may also have a different design for the car.
Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn in April said it was likely for Mitsubishi and Nissan would do cross-manufacturing in certain areas.
Reporting by Cindy Silviana; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Ed Davies and David Evans