mitsubishi xpander hybrid is planned for malaysia, but market potential dependent on policy direction

In May 2021, Mitsubishi Motors confirmed that an Xpander Hybrid, presumably a new generation model, will be joining its model line-up after 2022.

The model is targeted at markets in Southeast Asia, which means that Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) will just need to raise their hands and the model will be launched here.

Speaking at the sidelines of the launch of the 2022 this morning, CEO Shinya Ikeda confirmed that it has plans for the Mitsubishi Xpander Hybrid.

“Yes we are studying that, but we are also closely investing the direction of the government on electrification. It seems that hybrid itself is not really in the picture of the government’s direction of electrification, at this moment in time, so we are now carefully studying the impact of that,” said Ikeda.

mitsubishi xpander hybrid is planned for malaysia, but market potential dependent on policy direction

Xpander Hybrid will be introduced in 2023 or later

If you are wondering why MMM has expressed this lack of clarity in the government’s direction for electrification even though Honda Malaysia is already building 3 e:HEV RS hybrids (, , ) while UMW Toyota is building the here, that’s because details of the incentives for CKD green cars are not made public. The Malaysian government (specially, it’s MARii, the agency under MITI) calls it ‘customized incentives.’

Such opaque practice complicates things for foreign companies looking invest here.

The Mitsubishi Xpander is currently assembled (CKD) in Pekan, within the DRB-Hicom automotive manufacturing campus. The part MPV, part SUV crossover is now Malaysia’s No.1 selling non-national B-segment 7-seater MPV / SUV model.

mitsubishi xpander hybrid is planned for malaysia, but market potential dependent on policy direction

The CKD Xpander is produced by MMC Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., a joint venture company between MMM and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. The Xpander line has a maximum capacity of 6,000 cars per year, but further expansion is possible.

Also, incentives are renewed annually (though some manufacturers have a different understanding, but as we said earlier, everything is ‘customized’). Such short-term arrangement makes it very risky and difficult, especially for smaller manufacturers like MMM, in planning their investments.

Hybrids will only become mainstream once a player like Perodua sells one, but the upcoming will be limited only to 300 units and will only be leased out. So its impact to the market will still be very limited.

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