• Mitsubishi ‘looking for ways’ to include SMEs in auto production

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    MITSUBISHI Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) said it continues to look for ways to include small auto parts makers in its local car production under the government’s Comprehensive Automobile Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.

    MMPC was reacting to a letter from a local auto parts maker group that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were left out of the CARS Program.

    “We are discussing with them everything, and we have not really stopped looking for ways to bring everybody to the picture. It is a matter of timing. In concept, we would really want to help everyone,” Dante Santos, MMPC first vice president and corporate secretary, told reporters on Wednesday night.

    One of the objectives of the CARS Program is to incentivize the local production of auto parts.

    In the said letter, the Philippine Parts Maker Association Inc. (PPMA) said local car assemblers have totally ignored the local SME supply chain.

    “What happened to the objective of boosting the local production and supply of SME’s? It seems that the local car assemblers have totally ignored the local SME supply chain and have just focused on their own Japanese-affiliated suppliers,” Ferdinand Raquelsantos, PPMA president, said in the letter.

    “We want to, but we have to go one by one,” said MMPC’s Santos. “Every company has a different status. It’s a matter of whether they can deliver what is required by the assembler, except there are others readily available.
    “So, it’s not a matter of SMEs, it’s a matter of bringing in the technology to the country. Whether it’s big, small, medium, if you are first and ready, then you will be chosen. We’re talking about year one,” Santos added.

    Raquelsantos noted that both Mitsubishi and Toyota have announced their initial batch of suppliers in November and December last year, but none of these suppliers are registered under the SME category. He said most are Japanese locally established companies, with the rest having technical licensing agreements (TLA) with local Filipino large companies.

    MMPC’s Santos said that maybe by next year “they [will]have the opportunity, as there is every chance we [will]always look at that opportunity.”

    Turning to sales, Santos said everything that comes out of the production line is part of the count, including the CARS production.

    He projects that the company’s output this year will surpass the 2016 production.

    “For this year, we will surpass the target growth last year, because the infrastructure, the gross domestic product, the market increase, the market of new workers and the employment circle–they’re going up… And the banks are really open to generating more business, so you are looking at an environment where the outlook of business is positive,” Santos added.

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