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Auto industry expects sales to rev up

By: Riza T. Olchondra, March 24th, 2013 07:40 PM

The Philippines is set to boost local vehicle manufacturing and grow a supply chain as the country undergoes rapid motorization fueled by a growing economy.

The executive director of Philippine Automotive Competitiveness Council Inc. (Pacci), Ramon Vicente T. Kabigting, said in an interview that vehicle sales could reach 500,000 units by 2022, from 180,000 units in 2012. To make this possible, the Board of Investments, an agency attached to the Department of Trade and Industry, is crafting the National Automotive Manufacturing Industry Strategy (Namis) to be launched “in the next three months,” according to Pacci.

The non-fiscal support policy will allow local car manufacturers to take their idle plant lines to full capacity, assembling 200,000 units in the next two years. The current utilization rate is 36 percent of full capacity.

Michinobu Sugata, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. president and CEO and president of the PACCI board of trustees, said that with a vehicle density of only 33 units per 1,000 persons, the Philippines has a far more exciting growth potential than the more mature markets of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He recounted TMPC’s success in the Philippines and announced that Toyota would boost production to 50,000 units a year from the current 30,000.

Also, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC), earlier reported plans of hiking production to 50,000 units in the next two years, and on to 100,000 by 2017, given government support.

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