Cars and Calibres

MMPC inaugurates new stamping shop


Present during the opening ceremony of the Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation’s new stamping shop in Santa Rosa, Laguna are, from left, Sta. Rosa, Laguna Mayor Dan Fernandez, Sojitz Corporation Automotive Dept. 3 general manager Hideo Hatada, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines president and CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Koji Haneda, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Philippine Business Department general manager Minoru Kinoshita, Board of Investments Governor Henry Co, and 1st District of Laguna Rep. Arlene Arcillas. Photo by Eugene Araneta

Just about a year and a half ago, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) broke ground on something that clearly shows their intentions for the country and the world.

That something was inaugurated just after Valentine’s Day in the form of a facility that deepens the country’s ability to be an automotive industry player.

Feb. 15, 2018 saw the opening of their new stamping shop facility in the Greenfield Automotive Park in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

“The opening of our new stamping shop is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of Mitsubishi Motors’ operations here in the Philippines,” said MMPC president and CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri.

On display during the inauguration were Mitsubishi Mirage models, examples of what is already produced by the company.

The company expects to produce around 200,000 units of the Mirage hatchback and G4 models by 2023.

These high goals are part of the company’s wide-reaching plans that include developing Philippine industry, community and economic goals as well as those of their own corporation.

The MMPC Santa Rosa plant, for example, has created an additional 600 jobs since its inauguration in 2015.

The stamping shop is a key component in this forward movement, allowing the company to produce finished body panels from metal sheets rather than using imported products.

This saves on logistics costs and complications, transfers technology, and creates livelihoods.

Mitsubishi Motors has already said that they don’t want to just create cars; they want to create the employees that can buy those cars.

With the new stamping shop now operational, local content for the Mirage is now at 35 percent. Photo by Eugene Araneta

Also on display was a partially-built Mitsubishi Mirage, color-coded in red, green and gray. These colors signified whether the part was produced in-house, by local suppliers, or imported, respectively.

As MMPC first vice president and corporate secretary Dante C. Santos explained as he walked us around the car, the grays were only temporary.

Those parts, such as the rear door panels, are not yet fully ready to come online—but they will be soon.

There will still be much more Philippine content, he said proudly, but they didn’t want to cover up the red parts that are the important points for the day’s discussions.

The stamping machine itself, the largest in the country, was an impressive sight as it showed guests how it produced shipped panels from metal flats.

Amidst the rows of parts already produced, and a display of the different parts of the process, the machine repeatedly slammed heavy weights down on two separate base plates.

The flat plates were positioned at one end, then shaped once, then moved and checked by machine staff, then shaped, cut and holed on another station before moving to final human inspection.

Color-coded: red for parts produced in-house, green by local suppliers, and gray being imported. Photo by Eugene Araneta

The ground beneath the onlooking guests shook with each powerful slam of the weights.

The stamping shop has the capacity to produce 35,000 units per year using two shifts.

MMPC took the opportunity to make a few other announcements as well.

Local content for the Mirage is now at 35 percent, we were told. And in fulfillment of their commitment to the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy, of which they were the first car manufacturer to join, they will be increasing that even further.

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