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August 31, 2008

Mitsubishi Philippines upbeat over SUV sales
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp expects the excellent sales of its sport utility vehicle line to boost the company’s growth this year, reported local newspaper Manila Bulletin on its online edition.

“Mitsubishi is known for its SUVs,” said Froilan Dytianquin, Mitsubishi Philippines assistant vice president for marketing services, adding that the car company’s SUVs, from compact to full-size models, sell well.

The Japanese carmaker’s SUV sales in the country grew by around 60 percent in the first half of this year compared to same period last year, he said.

Dytianquin said the whole Philippine automotive industry felt an SUV sales surge, especially of models with engines running on low-priced diesel.

Mitsubishi Philippines, on the whole, targets total auto sales of 18,000 to 20,000 units this year, Dytianquin said.

It has sold 9,868 units for the first seven months of this year, latest data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (Campi) shows, with 9,007 units or 91.27 percent of the seven-month volume coming from sales of commercial vehicles, which include SUVs.

While the company ranks a strong second in local auto sales so far, Dytianquin said Mitsubishi Philippines is having a difficulty catching up with current industry leader Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., due to the latter’s robust passenger car market.

He admitted that Mitsubishi lags behind in sales of small cars. Mitsubishi has only sold 861 units of passenger cars from January to July this year, according to latest Campi data.

Despite intense competition from other local automotive companies which also launched many new models in the last few months, Mitsubishi is confident of its hold on the SUV market, according to Dytianquin.

Mitsubishi Philippines reinforced its SUV line up as it launched the 4x4 Montero Sport 2009 model Friday. The all-new Montero Sport has two variants: the GLS and GLS SE.

The Philippines is the first country where the improved Montero Sport would be sold, Dytianquin disclosed, adding that hereafter, the upgraded mid-sized SUV would soon be introduced to markets in the Asean, Central and South America, Europe and Australia.

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