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Mitsubishi boosts Mirage production

Green light: Mitsubishi’s frugal Mirage light car is designed to satisfy the increasing demand for cars in emerging markets as well as tempting eco-conscious buyers in developed markets.

Mirage light car production upped in Thailand as Mitsubishi responds to high demand

17 May 2012

MITSUBISHI has moved to increase production of the new Mirage light car at its Laem Chabang production facility in Thailand as a response to higher than expected demand, just weeks after deliveries began in the country.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia corporate communications manager Caitlin Beale told GoAuto that Mitsubishi has taken around 20,000 orders for the Mirage in Thailand – the first country to receive the car – since the books opened on March 28.

The Mirage factory’s annual capacity of 150,000 units can be expanded to 200,000, but the current rate is not clear.

Ms Beale said Mitsubishi was expecting to sell 2000 Mirages per month in Thailand alone and that the factory has enough capacity to cope with the glut of orders.

She agreed the boost in production was necessary to enable Mitsubishi to cater for existing orders while satisfying ongoing demand in Thailand and ensuring supply for the forthcoming rollout to markets.

The Mirage will be rolled out to other members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) before shipments to Japan start in July, while the Australian launch is scheduled for January 2013.

21 center imageFrom top: Mitsubishi's factory in Laem Chabang Thailand, Mitsubishi Mirage.

According to the Bangkok Post, around 3000 Mirages were produced in the first batch and production will be gradually increased to meet demand from domestic and export markets.

Mitsubishi described the Mirage as its global compact car, designed to meet the needs of fast-growing emerging markets and as an environmentally friendly entry-level car for developed markets like Australia.

In Australia, the Mirage will replace the discontinued Colt and is expected to compete on price against low-end hatchbacks such as the Nissan Micra (from $13,490), Holden Barina ($15,990) and Hyundai i20 (from $15,490).

Thai-delivered Mirages are powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine with claimed fuel efficiency of 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres, while cars for export will also come with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with idle-stop system, continuously variable transmission (CVT) and fuel consumption targeted at 3.3L/100km.

An all-electric version is also on the cards and confirmed to arrive in Australia after the launch of petrol-powered variants.

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