Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors plans to introduce its small all-electric i-MiEV car to the Chinese market by 2012 and may produce electric cars locally to benefit government subsidies, the company’s president said recently, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Mitsubishi Motors rolled out the i-MiEV in Japan last year, becoming the world’s first auto maker to launch mass-produced electric cars. This eco-friendly car’s introduction into China will be part of its roll-out to overseas markets, which will include some countries in Europe and Asia.
“We wanted to bring it [to China] in 2011. But we don’t have enough capacity to produce the batteries,” Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Masuko said at the recent 2010 Beijing auto show, adding that the all-electric i-MiEV will be imported to China from Japan.
The No. 6 Japanese automaker, now with Southeast Motor and GAC Changfeng Motor as its Chinese partners, may consider producing its electric cars in China in the future if local production is required for government subsidies for electric vehicles.
Mitsubishi is targeting to sell 300,000 vehicles a year in China by 2015, up from the 180,000 it aims to sell this year. The Japanese company boosted its China sales by 50% to 125,000 vehicles in 2009.