PH auto industry aims to pick up where Thailand left off

Rappler.com
Representatives of the domestic vehicle and parts manufacturing sector want the Philippine automotive industry to take advantage of gaps created by disruptions in production in Thailand

MANILA, Philippines – Representatives of the domestic vehicle and parts manufacturing sector want the Philippines to seize more of the South East Asian market to take advantage of gaps created by disruptions in production in Thailand. 

“Automotive and parts manufacturing in the Philippines is both viable and sustainable. An ambitious but realistic strategy can take it to the next level,” said Feliciano Torres, chairman of the Philippine Automotive Competitiveness Council Inc. (PACCI). 

Torres and his peers think it is possible to create economies of scale that, starting in 2015, will snatch up a sizable portion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) market with government support.

Representatives of domestic vehicle and parts manufacturing think a stronger local industry could minimize the effect of interruptions in the global supply chain on the country.

In 2011, major flooding in Thailand forced several car companies to temporarily suspend production or to adjust production volumes for auto manufactures abroad, including those in the Philippines. 

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers in the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) said that the 4% year-on-year drop in automotive sales in 2011 was “because of the supply constraint resulting from the Japan and Thailand crisis.”

Torres said, “We need to act quickly because there is huge opportunity to grow the domestic vehicle and parts sectors and create jobs.”

A 2010 study by Dr. Cid Terosa of the School of Economics of University of Asia and the Pacific found that a P100 billion investment in domestic automotive manufacturing could create as many as 169,061 new jobs.

PACCI, composed of auto manufacturers like Ford Motor Company Philippines, Isuzu Philippines Corp., Honda Cars Philippines, Inc., Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation and Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. is confident that with government support the industry can spur investment and develop the sector more fully. – Rappler.com