Isuzu shuts down temporarily

Published by rudy Date posted on April 18, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – Isuzu Corp. Philippines said they will shut down their operations today (April 18) until the beginning of May because of parts supply problems.

Isuzu is the fourth auto company which admitted a temporary suspension of operations as a result of the twin disasters in Japan more than a month ago. Toyota Motor Philippines and Ford Group Philippines have already said they will close their manufacturing facility temporarily while Honda Cars Philippines Inc. said they will reduce their production by 50 percent.

In an interview at the sidelines of the Isuzu truck show, Isuzu Executive Vice President Yuki Kato said they will be closing their manufacturing operationsthis week and will re-open May 2. “We will close for eight working days.”

The shutdown will begin today. Although it seems longer, only eight working days will be affected because April 20 to 21 are declared non working holidays, Kato explained.

Kato said their sales team will not be affected but the plant workers will have to consume their vacation leaves. He estimated that 300 workers will be affected.

Kato said they are not sure if they will already have full operations when they open May 2. “We will decide week by week.” He estimated that they produce 900 to 1,000 units per month.

Among the local auto manufacturers, Isuzu has the biggest assembly because almost 90 percent of the vehicles sold locally are assembled here.

Kato said Isuzu Japan was unaffected by the twin disasters but their secondary suppliers were hit. He said they will know the full Japanese supplier situation once the Japanese holiday Golden Week, has ended. The Golden Week is celebrated during the first week of May. “We will know for sure at the second week of May if the supply situation is okay.”

Kato said their vehicles have a high local supply component at 45 percent. He said they would like to increase their local content but it depends on the auto suppliers here in the Philippines.

Despite of the production slowdown, Kato said Isuzu will maintain its 17- percent growth target. This means they must sell 12,500 units by year end. For the first quarter, Isuzu sales grew by one percent when compared to the same period a year ago. –Ma. Elisa P. Osorio (The Philippine Star)

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