According to the Nikkei newspaper, Mitsubishi will buy Ford’s auto plant in Philippines for a price between $97 million and $147.7 million.
Mitsubishi Motors, which plans to expand in Southeast Asia to boost its sales, plans to purchase Ford’s plant in Philippines, which used to manufacture SUVs. The facility, which stopped production in 2012, has a total manufacturing capacity of 40,000 units annually according to the newspaper report.
Currently, Mitsubishi has control over more than a fifth of the auto market in Philippines. Last year the economy in the country increased 7.2%, the second fastest in Asia after China. The automaker manufactures the Lancer sedan, the Adventure minivan and the L300 truck at a smaller facility in Philippines, near Manila. The Japanese automaker did not offer information about what models it will built at Ford’s former manufacturing plant.
At the beginning of this year Mitsubishi said it will sell its shares to raise as much as $2.5 billion to pay a dividend for the first time in 16 years. Last time the automaker declared a dividend was in September 1997. Mitsubishi Motors received bailouts in 2004 and 2005 as revenue slumped following the company’s admission that it covered up defects.
In 2011, Mitsubishi was the sixth biggest Japanese automaker and the sixteenth biggest worldwide by production. Globally the company employs about 30,777 workers.