Mitsubishi Motors is planning to introduce its Xpander MPV to more markets after tremendous success in Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand. The popularity of the Xpander, which has garnered more than 100,000 orders in Indonesia alone has prompted the automaker to mull introduction the model to other markets in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.
Mitsubishi Motors is beginning to fully utilize the benefits of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. The automaker has announced plans to increase production capacity in its manufacturing facility Bekasi, Indonesia. Much of the plant’s capacity is devoted to the Xpander MPV, with a small portion dedicated to the Montero Sport (for local demand).
The production increase is in response to strong demand for the Xpander in Indonesia and ASEAN markets. By the fiscal year of 2020, it hopes to increase capacity from the current 160,000 units a year to 220,000. The expansion will require an investment of around 4 billion Yen and provide employment for 800 more people, bring the total staff up to 4,100.
Of that total production capacity increase, the bulk will be devoted to the Xpander, which started out at 115,000 units and will be increased to 160,000. As daunting as that number is, only 30,000 of those units are currently earmarked for export. With the increase, that number is hoped to be bumped up to 50,000.
To further speed up production, Mitsubishi will source the Xpander’s 1.5-liter four-cylinder MIVEC engine from Renault-Nissan Alliance partner, Nissan Motor Indonesia, the local production subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Originally, the engines were imported from Kyoto, Japan.
By building the engines in Indonesia, Mitsubishi will be able to increase the Xpander’s Indonesian sourced parts to 80%, up from the current 70%. This strategy will also mark the first time Mitsubishi will use engines built by Nissan. The Nissan plant will supply 160,000 Xpander engines annually.
This is the second time Mitsubishi has announced a production increase. The Xpander's original production was pegged at 100,000 units a year. However, due to the model's popularity, it was recently planned to be increased to 120,000. Nissan has also confirmed plans to build its own ASEAN-market MPV. Moving engine production to the Nissan plant in Indonesia may hint of the automaker's plans to utilize the same engine and future models with Mitsubishi.