Car firms plan to try hybrid vehicles in PHBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Vehicle manufacturers are eager to test so-called hybrid cars in the Philippine market as soon as legislators pass a bill providing tax breaks for makers and importers of environment-friendly vehicles.
Hybrid vehicles can run on either petrol or electricity, and sometimes on a third alternative power source. Japanese makers Honda Cars Phils. Inc., Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., Isuzu Philippines Corp. and Suzuki Philippines Inc. are among those getting ready to promote such vehicles in the local market.
“We’d like to introduce our hybrid cars as early as we can, introduce to the people the benefits of the environment-friendly cars, such as cleaner air and less dependence on petrol. We are just waiting for the bill on duty and tax exemption. It has already passed Congress (House Bill 5460) and we are now waiting for the Senate,” Honda president and general manager Tatsuya Natsume said.
House Bill 5460 aims to make hybrid vehicles accessible and more affordable to Filipinos and this could be done by bringing down their prices through tax breaks, such as exemption from excise, import and value-added taxes.
Toyota vice president Rommel Gutierrez said legislated incentives for makers of environment-friendly vehicles would lower the price of the vehicles and encourage buyers to try them.
If the local automotive industry grows well enough to spur high demand for hybrid cars, manufacturers may consider making them in the country, said Isuzu vice president for corporate business Arthur A. Balmadrid. Isuzu produces its vehicles locally, with 90 percent of its inputs obtained from local sources.
Suzuki is also keen on introducing its prototypes for environment-friendly vehicles when prices are not as “prohibitive,” president Satoshi Uchida said.
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