The network of suppliers for the local arm of Toyota is confident export sales will reach $1 billion by year-end as the group gears up for motorization and the Asean integration.
The $1-billion target for 2014 reflects a 4.8 percent increase from export sales of $954 million achieved last year. The positive outlook is based on expansion plans for this year as projected by TMP’s local suppliers.
In a statement, the Toyota Group of export suppliers, composed of 13 parts makers, in April reported that their first quarter 2014 exports hit $220 million, down 13 percent from the reported $252.9 million sales in the same period last year.
Tokai Rika Philippines, Toyota Boshoku Philippines, Technol Eight Philippines and Philippine Auto Components spearheaded the expansion programs for the local suppliers group of Toyota.
According to Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) president Michinobu Sugata, projects in the pipeline include increasing production capacity through plant improvements, as well as localization of additional 15 press parts for the Vios.
He noted that four suppliers will carry out their respective expansion plans in anticipation of the coming Philippine Automotive Manufacturing Industry Roadmap crafted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Auto vehicle manufacturers and auto parts makers expect the roadmap to further boost the competitiveness of the local vehicle manufacturing industry, which could pave the way for the Philippines to be the next auto manufacturing base in the Asean region.
At the recently held Toyota Suppliers Conference and 14th Toyota Suppliers Club Assembly, Michinobu Sugata commended the suppliers network for their continued strong support and hard work, noting that 2013 was a milestone year for the Japanese carmaker.
Tokai Rika Philippines, which recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new facility, will construct an additional manufacturing line for automotive switches, as well as a warehouse with the latest technology of a lead-free soldering system; while Technol Eight Philippines will start manufacturing a new product line—body shell parts and components—for the Vios.
Meanwhile, Toyota Boshoku Philippines will expand its door trim production line. With the help of government incentives, the company will also introduce and localize new products such as headlining and automotive fabric flame lamination.
Furthermore, Philippine Auto Components, Inc. will expand its plant area to increase capacity for the dial printing molding process and to accommodate a new product, the Sonar Sensor.
The leadership of the TMP also assured local suppliers of the industry’s continuous collaboration with the government on the finalization of the Philippine Automotive Manufacturing Industry Roadmap.
While the local auto industry is looking forward to the implementation of the much-awaited roadmap, Sugata reminded parts makers to remain competitive.
“It is important for us to improve our competitiveness through our own efforts, but the industry definitely needs support from the government to ensure sustainable growth,” he said.
For his part, Toyota Motor Asia Pacific Engineering and Manufacturing (TMAP-EM) purchasing group Executive Vice President Yasuhiro Shido reiterated that suppliers should be ready to face challenges in the Asia-Pacific region.
Shido encouraged local suppliers saying, “sales and production will grow continuously” given the scenario that Asia will continue to develop.
“Reinforce your management base in the areas of safety, quality and good labor relations,” he added, reminding them to strengthen and broaden their production base, as well as make their businesses eco-friendly. Moreover, Toyota Suppliers Club (TSC) Chair Rafael Villarreal in his speech took on the challenge, especially as all are preparing for the coming Asean integration in 2015.
“The implication of this significant change will surely affect our industry and I wish to remind all our members to prepare for this. This will also be a great opportunity for local parts exporters to expand their business within the Asean region,” Villareal said, rallying TSC members on the said move.