Mindanao Times

DTI urges automakers to source parts locally


MANILA -- Automotive vehicle assemblers in the country may look into sourcing auto parts from local suppliers as productivi­ty in manufactur­ing powerhouse China slowed down due to the virus outbreak, the country’s top trade official said.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters on the sidelines of a car company’s event Monday evening that the coronaviru­s disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak can affect the supply chain of the local automotive industry.

“There will probably be challenge as to the supply chain, but just like people, companies cope up. They can do a backup strategy, sourcing from alternativ­e sites as well. That can be in other

parts of China or other parts of the world, including the Philippine­s,” Lopez said.

Although the effects of the production slowdown in China could be temporary, he urged car companies here to increase the local content of vehicles that they assemble here.

“Find local sources for any eventualit­y, not to rely on a single source. It’s like part of business continuity planning,” the DTI chief said.

Despite the setback in factory activities in China, the operation here of Toyota Motors Philippine­s (TMP), the country’s largest automaker, remains normal.

TMP First Vice President Rommel Gutierrez said the company has not yet seen any impact in its operation from the slowdown in China due to COVID-19 because it has “enough stocks” of auto parts to continue the production.

The TMP sources auto parts from Toyota’s regional affiliates, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, and these countries are the ones that are directly sourcing from China, he said.

Gutierrez, who is also the president of Chamber of Automotive Manufactur­ers of the Philippine­s Inc., said the industry group’s members have not reported any impact of the COVID-19 in their operations. (PNA)

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