When Mitsubishi had to cease production of the L300 at the end of 2017 due to the newer emissions standards, many thought it was the end of an era. For 3 decades, the L300 -in van form or its many other commercial configurations- had weaved itself into the fabric of the local auto industry, not to mention the economy.
Now the L300 is back after several years of redevelopment, production has restarted at Mitsubishi's Santa Rosa, Laguna factory. The new L300 has been refitted to accept a new 4N14 turbo intercooler CRDI diesel engine, enabling it to meet Euro4 emissions regulations. The new model is largely the same as before, albeit with a higher set cab to provide extra clearance for the new diesel.
What we didn't expect was how successful it would really be.
According to Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation executives, the company has now activated a second production shift at their Laguna factory.
The second production shift starts immediately after the first daytime shift, and runs up to midnight in order to double the roll out of L300 units. We were told that the demand from dealers and customers nationwide was more than enough to justify starting a second shift.
Per shift, Mitsubishi says that they can roll out an estimated 76 L300 units. The new shift doubles the plants output to about 152 units of the L300 per day.
Mitsubishi says they have 1,662 unit orders for the L300 just for the month of October 2019.
If demand stays positive, that means Mitsubishi can maximize their plant's capacity, which is at a maximum of 50,000 spreadt between the Mirage hatchback, Mirage G4 sedan, and the L300.
Every L300 Euro4 rolls out of the factory in long-wheelbase Exceed configuration. After the roll out, the L300 is sent to body/coach builders such as Almazora or Centro Manufacturing Corporation. Those companies then configure the L300 with a variety of bodies to suit customers' needs, though the prime version is the Family Business or FB variant for small and medium enterprises (SME).
Perhaps most important about the L300 and the addition of a second shift is the very positive impact it will have on the economy and jobs. The addition of the shift means almost double jobs at the MMPC factory, as well as more production for L300 parts suppliers.
Many of the parts of the L300 are produced here in the Philippines such as the plastics, seats, frames, wheels, and many more. Even the cab's body panels are produced here as well by Mitsubishi with their new stamping facility.
Mitsubishi had moved to the former Ford production facility in early 2015 after they had uprooted from their former home in Cainta, Rizal.