MMPC seeks more tax incentives for EVs

Published April 9, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) said they intend to join the electric vehicle (EV) segment but would like to see a clearer direction on the tax incentives to ensure the competitiveness of these vehicles and boost its plan to accelerate sales to achieve its next 1 million unit sales mark in a decade only.

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MMPC raised the competitiveness issue on e-vehicles during a press conference to celebrate the company’s One Million Unit Sales, which it achieved in March this year. Mitsubishi e-vehicles are i-MiEV and Outlander PHEV. Other car companies Nissan and Hyundai have already announced the introduction of their e-vehicles in the country.

MMPC President and CEO Matsuhiro Oshikiri said the Mitsubishi headquarters in Japan has made and initiative to form a joint study with the Department of Trade and Industry and the academe on EV.

Rene Lampano, MMPC vice-president, explained that the EV roadmap is expected to be completed within this month. Under the TRAIN Law, the pure EVs are granted zero excise tax but it is still slapped with the Customs duty. For hybrid EVs, the applicable excise tax for instance for its Outlander PHEV is around 10 percent, hybrid Outlander is 20 percent and 30 percent for pure EVs.

“That is still a big amount, we would like that government to also remove the Customs duties to make EVs competitive,” said Lampano.

Yoichiro Yatabe, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. vice president in charge of the ASEAN region, also said that with government incentives they are planning to start EV production in Thailand in 2021 and will introduce this year its PHEV model in Indonesia to be imported from Japan.

“Naturally, we would like to sell EVs in the Philippines but it depends on the government infrastructure and incentive plan but we have a strong will to start,” said Yatabe.

Other MMPC officials also cited the need to improve quality and cost competitiveness with other plants in the region. There is also a very small EV market in the country.

Meantime, Oshikiri expressed optimism they could achieve the next 1 million-sales unit mark in a decade as he expects sales to accelerate with their market share seen improving to 20 percent from the current 16 percent. It took MMPC 11 years to achieve 500,000 unit sales mark from 2008. The company sold more than 67,000 units in 2018 only but expects to grow more this year with the production of Mirage, its entry in the CARS program.

Oshikiri expects that automotive sales could recover in the last quarter of this year and could end up flat. Sales slumped in 2018 following the implementation of higher excise tax on motor vehicles.

Other sales contributors to MMPC was its participation in the government’s CARS Program. The country’s second largest car company had planned for P4.3-billion investments in the CARS Program for the production of Mirage, but investment is exceeding to P4.7 billion already, according to MMPC Vice President Imelda A. Brown. They have already sourced from local parts suppliers and still looking for more. They have also brought in new auto parts manufacturers from Japan.

Oshikiri has also clarified that the plan to export of Mirage is still under study and there is no timetable and country destination yet, but said they are committed to reach the 200,000 production of Mirage under the CARS Program within a six-year period. They have already produced more than 30,000 units of Mirage so far.