According to Nikkei Asia, Mitsubishi Motors will begin production of hybrid vehicles in Thailand as early as 2024. This milestone marks the first time Mitsubishi has produced hybrid vehicles outside Japan.
Mitsubishi Thailand will produce a hybrid version of the Xpander minivan – its intended flagship in the segment. In November, they will launch a new SUV model and an undisclosed hybrid vehicle “in the near future”.
According to Drive Site, the hybrid vehicle above is none other than the Mitsubishi Triton. This version has been confirmed to have entered the final stages of development by the above source. The hybrid technology developed by the company based on the Xpander promises to appear on several other models as well.
The source confirmed that the Japanese automaker is confident that the segment will continue to attract customers in the region for at least 10 years.
He believes that developing countries need more time to switch a large number of users to pure electric vehicles. This is because the selling price of this car segment is still high while the service infrastructure is not complete.
“Domestic” assembly of hybrid vehicles will help Mitsubishi better compete with Chinese automakers. These new competitors are rapidly expanding their influence in Southeast Asia, with the number of automakers and models taking part in the battle.
In addition to thickening the lineup with hybrid cars, Mitsubishi also brings out Kei cars (including electric cars) that are much cheaper, yet with the goal of competing with the Chinese goods. The Southeast Asian market has long been the most important market for Mitsubishi, and they don’t want their platform here to be swamped by new competitors.
In the past 5 years, their operating profit reached 307.1 billion yen (VND 50,400 billion), of which Southeast Asia contributed… 70% of the above figure.
Apart from Thailand, Mitsubishi is also looking to expand the scale of hybrid vehicle assembly in Indonesia to take advantage of the country’s available nickel reserves.
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