Japan quake causes slowdown in PH car manufacturing

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) sees a temporary setback for the industry here as car brands in Japan move to pick up the pieces as a result of the massive earthquake and tsunami in March.

In an interview with dzMM, CAMPI President Elizabeth Lee said “there are things we need to consider. There are inventories in Japan that could not be transported because of logistics.”

She said there may be a “slowdown” in the manufacturing of cars and vehicles in the country as companies try to make do with current inventories.

Toyota Motor Philippines said it would suspend production from April 18 to 20 due to shortage 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,” said its vice president, Rommel Gutierrez.

Ford Group Philippines also announced it suspended production in its Sta. Rosa, Laguna plant for 18 days until May 9. The firm does not have any production facilities in Japan but sources some parts there.

Ford, however, is not a member of CAMPI.

Lee said the automakers are now trying to source parts elsewhere, except in Japan, which would meet standards. “What is important is we mitigate the gap for customers,” she added.

She noted that even Japan automakers are also helping suppliers here to source car parts from abroad.

“It’s also for the benefit of the brand. Every day that a plant is shut down, the cost is billions for the brand,” she added.

She allayed fears that Japan is trying to keep secret the real situation of its plants there. “It could be that they could not assess when they can really start operations again,” she said. – via abs-cbnNEWS.com

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