Business / Corporate

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to enter European luxury ferry market following restructuring

Kyodo

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will enter the luxury ferry market in Europe as part of a restructuring of its ship-building business.

Its subsidiary, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., will expand production facilities at two shipyards, in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and Nagasaki, to prepare for orders from Europe, President Koji Okura said in an interview Monday.

“We are looking at the European market. We must win there on the price and performance (of our upscale ferries),” Okura said.

While the company has already started marketing operations in Europe, it is also considering targeting the Asian luxury ferry market in the near future, Okura added.

Mitsubishi Heavy spun off Mitsubishi Shipbuilding as a separate, wholly owned entity in January as part of a restructuring that included a withdrawal from the loss-making large passenger ship business.

As demand is growing for various types of ferries in Europe, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding plans to focus on ferries with luxury interiors that carry passengers and vehicles.

The Mitsubishi Heavy group plans to begin building ferries in Nagasaki by the end of March 2021. The group currently builds liquefied natural gas ships at the shipyard.

Mitsubishi Heavy aims to boost sales in the shipbuilding business to ¥200 billion ($1.8 billion) a year over the next decade, up from about ¥100 billion in the last fiscal year, which ended in March 2018.