Introducing other measures to support local vehicle manufacturers is being eyed after Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) announced the closure of its car manufacturing operation in the country next month.

“We really have to study the need to impose safeguard duty and other measures to provide at least a level of support to the local assemblers,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Lopez admitted that since there is no tariff protection on imported vehicles, it becomes a cheaper alternative for car companies that find it challenging to keep up with the costs in operating in the country.

“Vehicle imports have been growing, causing injury to local industry.”

“Vehicle imports have been growing, causing injury to local industry, from assembly to the local parts supply network in the country,” the trade chief said.

Honda recently announced it will cease its Philippine operations effective this March.

The trade head said DTI will meet HCPI “to consider other alternative options so as to minimize the impact of any final decision they will make”.

HCPI, with ite manufacturing facility in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, produces passenger cars such as the BR-V and the City.

“HCPI will continue its automobile sales and after-sales service operation in the Philippines, through the utilization of Honda’s Asia and Oceania regional network.”

“HCPI will continue its automobile sales and after-sales service operation in the Philippines, through the utilization of Honda’s Asia and Oceania regional network,” the company said in a statement.

Honda entered the Philippines in November 1990 with P1.9 billion investments. It started its production in the country after two years.

In 2019, HCPI sold a total of 20,338 units or about 5.5 percent of the local vehicle market.

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