Mitsubishi Motors and the Thai Government to start joint study for fleet testing of i-MiEV; MMC adding third plant in Thailand for global small car production
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and the government of Thailand agreed to start joint study for fleet testing of electric vehicles (EV).
MMC, through its local producer and distributor Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (MMTh), will begin initiatives for future market introduction of the i-MiEV.
Meanwhile, the Thai government will move forward with its Electric Vehicle Project, creating an integrated organization with related ministries and government agencies under the direction of the Ministry of Industry (MOI).
The Thai MOI has already been aiming towards advancement of EVs as part of its policies to expand the Thailand automobile industry, however through the start of this EV joint project with MMC, the MOI moves forward with specific testing for the popularization of EVs, through use of the i-MiEV, researching the acceptability and marketability of EVs in Thailand, setting up user support systems, and expanding charging infrastructure, etc.
MMC is currently selling the i-MiEV in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and European markets. In addition, MMC is already collaborating on initiatives to promote the popularization of EVs centered on agreements with various governments including the governments of the Principality of Monaco, Iceland, Denmark, and Singapore, among others.
Separately, Mitsubishi Motors conducted a Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony for a new third factory of its Thailand producer and distributor, Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (MMTh) at the site where the new factory is to be built in at the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate in Chonburi province.
The third factory will be built adjacent to the first and second factories, and is planned to start mass production in March 2012. It will produce the “global small” 1.0-1.2L class compact vehicle that MMC plans to launch in fiscal year 2011. Initially, the production capacity of this new factory will be around the 150,000-unit per year level, and in the future it can be boosted to the 200,000-unit per year level.
The new vehicle to be produced at the new factory will be based on a completely new platform currently being developed by MMC. The “global small” will conform to Thailand’s Eco-car Project, implemented by the Thai government with the objective of promoting investment in Thailand’s automobile industry and reduction of dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions.
The “global small” will be positioned as an entry model in MMC’s model lineup, and plans are to export the vehicle from Thailand to markets worldwide as a global strategic vehicle that corresponds to both market needs of emerging countries, for which demand for automobiles is expected to increase, and advanced nations, where vehicle downsizing is increasing in order to correspond to energy issues in addition to environmental awareness.