Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) may be exploring the option at setting up its small cars manufacturing hub in India. MMC presently does not have any representation in the small car market. The small car market accounts for about 70 per cent of all vehicle sales in India. This segment has been seeing lots of activity in recent years – with global brands including Honda, Nissan amongst others introducing their small cars & hatch backs.
The company presently has a licencing agreement with the C K Birla promoted Hindustan Motors (HM) to manufacture its cars in India. As per the licencing arrangement HM has been manufacturing Lancer, Cedia sedans, and the sports utility vehicles like Montero, Pajero and Outlander. It is reported that MMC has not been able to add on to its market share , falling far behind its Japanese competitors as well as other leading brands. Absence from the small car market is also attributed to the concern of relatively lower market presence and falling market shares.
The company has recently set up its manufacturing facility in Thailand for manufacturing its small car – 1.2 Litre Mirage – being launched in Thailand early 2012. The company is exploring the possibility of setting up a second plant, with India being one of the possible choices along with Indonesia, and Malaysia. The company may choose to set up the India facility on its own, once the decision is finalised.
The proposed operations in India, may serve has a manufacturing hub for addressing the requirements of the Indian market, as well as supplying cars to neighbouring countries.