Mitsubishi Motors announced it would expand production capacity in Indonesia in response to strong regional demand for its Xpander compact MPV.
The factory, located in Bekasi, a satellite city just east of the capital city Jakarta, has a current production capacity of 160,000 vehicles per year and employs 4,100 workers. It produces both the Xpander and the Pajero SUV for sale locally.
The Xpander was launched in Indonesia last July and has overtaken the Toyota Avanza as the country's best-selling vehicle model (not counting the Daihatsu Xenia).
In May Mitsubishi began exporting the Xpander to the Philippines, with Vietnam and Thailand next on the list. It will also be exported to other markets in Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Mitsubishi plans to spend JPY4bn (US$35m) on the facility and hire an additional 800 workers by 2020 to raise annual capacity to 220,000 units.
The Xpander line will be expanded from the current 115,000 units per year to 160,000 units.
In 2019, a Nissan version of the Xpander is scheduled to go on sale in the region, replacing the Grand Livina.
Nissan Motor Indonesia will also produce the 1.5-litre engines for the Xpander, replacing imports from Japan and increasing the vehicle's local content to around 80%.
This will be the first time Mitsubishi will source engines from Nissan following the establishment of their strategic partnership.
Separately, MMC said it would donate 1bn rupiah (approximately JPY8m) to help the people of Indonesia who have suffered from the Sulawesi Island earthquake.
The donation will come via Mitsubishi Motors Krama Yudha Indonesia (MMKI), the local manufacturing facility, and Mitsubishi Motors Krama Yudha Sales Indonesia (MMKSI), the local distributor, to ensure the assistance can be distributed quickly and effectively.
MMKI and MMKSI have also provided two Triton pick-up trucks to help with the relief efforts.