Car firms seek more incentives

Published by rudy Date posted on January 1, 2009

The government must give more incentives to encourage local carmakers to manufacture more vehicles locally, Isuzu Philippines Corp. president Keiji Takeda said recently.

“We hope that the local industry will grow and this will happen if more car makers manufacture their vehicles here,” Takeda said.

Manufacturing vehicles locally brings in additional investments from the car companies not to mention the number of jobs it generates.

For Isuzu, Takeda said that 85 percent to 90 percent of the vehicles they sell are produced locally.

The capacity of the local plant is at 15,000 units per year. However, it only produces 9,000 vehicles.

Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) said the government needs to give more perks to companies going green like importing hybrid vehicles. TMP president Hiroshi Ito said it is very costly to import hybrid vehicles. “The government needs to give incentives.”

According to Ito, they have not formally asked the Board of Investments (BOI) for incentives for importing hybrid cars but said Toyota is willing to spearhead the move to get more perks for being environmental friendly.

Ito said should Toyota decide to sell hybrid vehicles in the Philippines, the price will be similar to other countries. However, he said the cost of importation would definitely increase the prices because right now it is very expensive.

“There is a demand,” Ito said. He said they are projecting to sell 50 units per month should Toyota finally decide to sell hybrid vehicles in the country.

However, Ito cleared that there is still no time frame for hybrid sales here.

“There are concrete plans (to bring hybrid vehicles in the Philippines) but it has not yet been finalized,” Ito explained.

“The product is not yet ready,” he added. Ito said one of the reasons why they haven’t brought in hybrid cars are the road conditions.

Ito said there are a lot of roads here that are not suitable for hybrid cars. He noted that hybrids should not be brought in rough roads.–Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, Philippine Star

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