Toy­ota, Mit­subishi tar­get 50% lo­cal con­tent for Vios, Mi­rage

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS - RICH­MOND MERCURIO

The lo­cal units of Ja­panese car giants Toy­ota and Mit­subishi plan to bump up to 50 per­cent the lo­cal con­tent of their car mod­els en­rolled un­der the gov­ern­ment’s Com­pre­hen­sive Au­to­mo­tive Resur­gence Strat­egy (CARS) pro­gram.

This means half of the parts and com­po­nents of the Mit­subishi Mi­rage and Toy­ota Vios to be as­sem­bled lo­cally are Filipino made.

The plan is seen not only to bol­ster Filipinos’ ca­pa­bil­ity in pro­duc­ing car parts but also bol­ster the coun­try’s bid to be a re­gional au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing hub.

“With the par­tic­i­pa­tion of our lo­cal sup­pli­ers, we are tar­get­ing 50 per­cent lo­cal con­tent. To be able to do that, they have to make cer­tain trade tie-ups with for­eign com­pa­nies to bring in the tech­nol­ogy which is good for our prod­uct,” Mit­subishi Mo­tors Philip­pines Corp. first vice pres­i­dent Dante San­tos said.

“For Toy­ota, we are also tar­get­ing to achieve 50 per­cent lo­cal con­tent,” Toy­ota Mo­tor Philip­pines Corp. pres­i­dent Sa­toru Suzuki said sep­a­rately.

Mit­subishi and Toy­ota are the two par­tic­i­pat­ing car mak­ers in the CARS pro­gram, a scheme ini­tially tar­geted to ac­com­mo­date three par­tic­i­pants.

The CARS pro­gram, ap­proved un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of for­mer pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino III, seeks to en­cour­age lo­cal car as­sem­bly through in­cen­tives and al­low in­dus­try play­ers be­come more com­pet­i­tive.

Un­der the pro­gram, lo­cal car as­sem­blers may ap­ply for fis­cal sup­port not ex­ceed­ing P27 bil­lion by lo­cally assem­bling three ve­hi­cle mod­els, or P9 bil­lion per model, with a com­mit­ment to pro­duce 200,000 units for each model dur­ing its six-year model life.

The fis­cal sup­port will be given in the form of tax pay­ment cer­tifi­cates to be used to de­fray the par­tic­i­pat­ing car com­pa­nies’ tax and duty obli­ga­tions.

“Toy­ota’s stance has al­ways been man­u­fac­tur­ing ve­hi­cles with a view to de­vel­op­ing lo­cal in­dus­try and con­tribut­ing to the bet­ter­ment of so­ci­ety in its host coun­try. Our re­solve to push the ex­pan­sion of lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties be­came even stronger with the CARS Pro­gram,” Suzuki said.

“This is why af­ter al­most three decades of pro­duc­tion op­er­a­tions in the Philip­pines, Toy­ota is tak­ing on the chal­lenge of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the CARS pro­gram to sup­port the Philip­pine gov­ern­ment’s thrust to re­vi­tal­ize the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor. Strength­en­ing parts man­u­fac­tur­ing is at the core of Toy­ota’s CARS project. In­vest­ments in new parts man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­ity con­sti­tute a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of our in­vest­ments, which has al­ready reached P5.24 bil­lion as of Septem­ber 2017,” he added.

Mit­subishi, for its part, is launch­ing its big­gest and most mod­ern stamp­ing plant in the coun­try worth P2.4 bil­lion by next year.

“Lo­cal con­tent is a fac­tor of busi­ness de­ci­sion. If a com­pany can do it, they will. How­ever, any item put on that ve­hi­cle has a patent,” San­tos said.

“Also you re­ally can­not make it (lo­cal con­tent to at least) 70 per­cent be­cause there are no man­u­fac­tur­ers of items such as en­gine, trans­mis­sion, and tires here,” he added.

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