Toyota, Ford, Honda to halt Phl operations temporarily

Published by rudy Date posted on April 14, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has joined the list of local manufacturers which will temporarily suspend their local manufacturing operations due to a shortage of parts from Japan.

TMP’s announcement came on the heels of Ford Motor Philippines announcement that it has started an 18-day suspension of production at its assembly plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna. Honda Cars Philippines was the first to acknowledge that the twin disaster in Japan has prompted them to cut their production by 50 percent.

In a text message to reporters, Toyota vice president Rommel Gutierrez said they will have three non-production days from April 18 to 20 due to temporary limitation in supply of production parts.

“At this time, we plan to recover these non production days in the coming months. All other business units, on the other hand, will be operating under normal conditions. TMP will continue to monitor the overall supply situation in close coordination with TMC Japan and our local suppliers,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said they are producing 30,000 units of Innova and Vios annually at their Sta. Rosa plant.

He said they have a daily production of 120 units. Gutierrez denied that they will be implementing a forced leave due to the plant closure.

For their part, Ford said their decision to suspend their facility for 18 days is a precautionary move and is part of the plant’s planned shutdown for next week’s Easter holiday and the early use of scheduled downtime to minimize any disruption.

“Starting this week, we are pulling ahead 18 previously scheduled down days at our Santa Rosa manufacturing facility in the Philippines as a precautionary move to ensure we have parts availability going forward. The down days include an already planned week-long shutdown for the Easter holiday in the Philippines,” Ford AVP for Communications Anika Wycoco said in a statement.

“We resume regular operations on Monday, May 9. We are working with our suppliers on a daily basis to minimize any disruptions and are acting proactively and decisively to stay ahead of the situation. We have also pulled ahead previously scheduled downtime or taken temporary downtime in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific,” she added.

Meanwhile, the association of car importers the Alliance of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID), remained upbeat as they announced first quarter sales of 5,844 units. This was six percent better than the 5,537 units they sold during the same period a year ago.

“This quarter saw car buyers warming up to new nameplates and fuel efficient models across AVID brands resulting in a solid 14 percent market share from total automobile industry sales,” the AVID report stated.

“As the economy continues to respond to external challenges, we are confident that the automotive industry will be able to steer and navigate its path towards sustained growth this year. The domestic market will remain keen on innovation and new technologies which we are committed to deliver in keeping with our customer-centric philosophy,” AVID president Maria Fe Agudo said.

AVID said they are looking forward to higher sales in the next quarters because auto sales trend in the second quarters of years 2007, 2008 and 2010 showed bigger volumes compared to the first quarter of the same period. –Ma. Elisa P. Osorio (The Philippine Star)

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