Release date- 19092017 – MOSCOW; – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced that it is to resume Russian production of one of its most popular vehicles, the Pajero Sport, at its Kaluga plant 180km south-west of Moscow.
To support this increase in production, the Kaluga plant will employ an additional 440 people and introduce two shifts from January next year.
Mitsubishi Motors said the decision reflected the company’s confidence in the recovering Russian auto market. Naoya Nakamura, President and Chief Executive Officer of MMC Rus (MMC official distributor for Russia) said he has set ambitious growth targets for the Russian business and is keen to expand still further the range of vehicles available to consumers.
For the past two years, Mitsubishi Motors has imported the current generation of Pajero Sport from its global production hub in Thailand, a response to the downturn caused by the Russian economic crisis. With the recovery of the Russian automotive market gathering pace, MMC expects to restart production of the Pajero Sport in November, 2017.
The Kaluga plant is a 125,000 m2 facility opened in 2009 and capable of producing 125,000 vehicles a year. The factory also produces the top-selling SUV Outlander, as well as a number of vehicles for PSA Group.
Osamu Masuko, CEO of Mitsubishi Motors, said:
‘With its versatility and potential to enable drivers to escape the everyday, the Pajero Sport is ideally suited to meeting the diverse demands of Russian drivers.’
‘This is only the beginning. Building on the success of the Outlander, we plan to offer a larger model line-up for Russian consumers going forward.’
‘Local production of popular models will be essential in growing future sales and enabling Mitsubishi Motors to participate fully in the Russian recovery.’
The Russian automotive market has grown by 14% over the first four months of the fiscal year that began in April. Over the same period, Mitsubishi Motors’ sales in Russia have also increased by 19%, and growth has outpaced the market average by 5%.
Mr. Nakamura said:
‘MMC Rus is encouraged by the reinvigoration of the Russian automotive market and we are ambitious for the future. We have significantly increased our sales targets since January 2017 and are achieving them. We look forward to increasing our commitment to the Russian market with local production of the Pajero Sport, along with other Mitsubishi Motors vehicles.’
About Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC)
MMC is a Japanese automobile company which has a competitive edge in pick-up trucks and SUVs and in the ASEAN region. The company launched the first mass-produced electric vehicle in 2009, which was followed with a plug-in hybrid EV-based SUV in 2013. MMC, which has 30,000 employees, has a global footprint and has production facilities in Japan, Thailand, China, Indonesia, The Philippines and Russia. Models such as the Pajero Sport, Triton and Outlander play a major role in achieving its growth. Global sales volume in fiscal year 2016 was 926,000 units. MMC’s net sales for fiscal year 2016 were 1.9 trillion yen. MMC is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.