Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) plans to invest THB1bn (USD33.6m) to increase production capacity of its Mirage small car to 200,000 units this year in response to strong domestic and overseas demand. 

The car is produced at the company’s third Laem Chabang plant, which began operations in early 2012 with an initial annual production capacity of 150,000 units.

Company president Nobuyuki Murahashi said the company expects to sell an average of 10,000 vehicles per month in Thailand this year, of which 45% are expected to be Mirage cars.  Sales in January amounted to around 13,000 units.

Mr Murahashi expects demand for small cars in Thailand to continue to be strong despite the expiry of the government’s first-time buyers’ programme at the end of last year, due to their affordability and low fuel consumption.

Overall, the company expects to spend THB 4-5 billion in Thailand this year, including on maintenance of its other plants and to prepare for the launch of production of new models. Its two other plants have a combined production capacity of over 300,000 vehicles per year. 

The company also plans to expand its network of sales and aftersales outlets by 40 from the current 178 outlets.