Following the foot steps of it’s competitors, Japanese car manufacturer Misubishi Motor Corporation is considering opening a manufacturing unit for its ECOCAR Mirage in India. Post Nissan’s entry into the Indian market with a manufacturing unit in Chennai, Mitsubishi doesn’t want to stay far behind due to India’s potential market for small cars and the possibility of exporting the manufactured units to nearby countries. It is currently a small player in the auto industry in India with a licensing agreement with Hindustan Motors. The Japanese auto giants are keeping their options open and planning on venturing into sedans and hatchbacks in India.
Mitsubishi has realized the vast potential for small cars in India which makes up for over 70% of India’s car sales and are thinking about opening a manufacturing unit for the same in this country. Competing with India for this manufacturing hub are counties like Indonesia and Malaysia. The production of this car will start from April 2012 in Thailand and the next site will be revealed after conducting sufficient market research and ensuring a strong distributor network in India. In an effort to boost its car sales in India, Mitsubishi has launched an upgraded version of the Pajero called the Pajero Sport which is currently priced at 23.53 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).
Since it is in a licensing agreement with HM for manufacturing it’s cars such as the Lancer and the Pajero, a crucial question regarding the continuation of its tie up with HM for the intended manufacturing plant arose. However, Masahiko Ueki, MMC’s executive officer and corporate general for Asia ans ASEAN mentioned that they would consider keeping their options open and starting this manufacturing unit on their own instead of venturing with the fiscally constrained HM. Mitsuibishi is currently focusing on strengthening its distributor network in India in order to explore the possibility of a manufacturing unit aimed at increasing their share in the Indian market.
The Mirage is primarily a 1.2 litre hatchback that can mark Mitsubishi’s foray into one of the most increasing auto markets. However, the presence of fierce competitors in the manufacturing of small segment cars is an added handicap and the company will have to be very careful with the prices in order to be a part of the small car segment rat race.