THE incoming president of Isuzu Phils. Corp. (IPC) said that the company is hoping the government would act on the issue of used trucks being imported into the country, and added that banning such vehicles is advantageous.
Nobuo Izumina, who is set to take over IPC’s top post on May 3, said that because the local automotive sector is growing, the government needs to lay down an industry roadmap as soon as possible.
“One thing I see in this market is that there are a lot of used trucks that came from Japan running around. It’s the same in Peru a couple of years ago—they imported used trucks from Japan there but the government decided to stop importing used trucks and raised emission level standards. The [local]auto industry is now growing. I hope the same thing happens here,” Izumina told reporters after an official turnover held recently.
Izumina—who would be handling an Asian market for the first time—also said that the move would not just be beneficial for local car manufacturers but also to the environment. He added that IPC is eyeing to increase production, and expressed optimism that it can reach a 10-percent growth in demand.
For his part, outgoing IPC President Ryoji Yamazaki said that the government needs to issue incentives to local carmakers as failing to do so could result to reduced vehicle manufacturing in the country. He noted that completely built units are cheaper because of the lower production costs outside the country.
Saying that because almost all of IPC vehicles are locally assembled, the company needs some fiscal and non-fiscal incentives so that it could continue building vehicles, if not increase the number of its locally assembled units.
“In Thailand the production volume of pickup trucks is more than 200,000, but here in the Philippines, we are only producing 3,000 units. It’s better, cost-wise, to import. In case we get some incentives from the government we still have hopes of keeping our assembly of pickup trucks in the Philippines,” Yamazaki said.
The approval of the industry roadmap that is set to provide incentives for the auto industry is eyed to be out by midyear.