Mitsubishi Motors Philippines unit plans to increase local assembly by 17% next year because it expects strong demand during an election season.

Output this year is forecast to fall 15% to 14,935 units this year after the company transferred to a new production facility south of the capital, first vice president Froilan Dytianquin told Reuters.

"Normally during election time, the sales of vehicles shoot up, especially for our vehicles the L300 and Adventure. These are utility vehicles used for campaign periods," Dytianquin said, adding that output is forecast at 17,490 units next year.

Filipinos will elect a president, vice president and more than 18,000 local government executives and lawmakers in the general elections to be held in May.

The carmaker makes Adventure and L300 models locally with production posting a record high of 17,619 units in 2014.

Mitsubishi Philippines' new factory, acquired from Ford last year, has an annual capacity of 50,000 units, which it could double.

According to a just-auto correspondent, new vehicle sales in the Philippines rose by 28% to a new monthly high of 28,667 units in October, from 22,278 units in the same month of last year, data released jointly by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed.

The associations' data does not include sales of some key importers, including Hyundai, Chevrolet and Subaru, which together typically account for around 15% of the total market.

Passenger car sales increased by just over 25% to 11,235 units last month while commercial vehicle sales were up by over 31% at 17,432 units.
 
Overall sales in the January-October period increased by 22.4% to 234,951 units, from 192,005 a year earlier, reflecting continued strong domestic economic growth fuelled by interest rates.

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