Toyota Motor Philippines Corp (TMP) recently inaugurated its PHP 1 billion (~USD 19 million) high-technology press line, allowing the company to begin with onshore Manufacturing of side member panels – the first of its kind in the Philippines. The press line includes a 1,600-ton servo type press machine with automated sheet feeder and unloader robot.
Side member panels are the largest body shell component of cars, and their production requires a high level of accuracy and quality forming, due to their many contact points with other parts of the car body. TMP had to invest in servo press technology to enable it to localize the Manufacturing of side member panels. Servo press technology offers a higher level of accuracy, formability and repeatability, versus the mechanical press commonly used for metal stamping by automotive firms.
This local production investment from TMP comes four years after the Philippine government signed the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program to attract new investments, stimulate demand and spur the growth of the Philippines’ automotive Manufacturing industry. To achieve this the CARS program provides incentives – fixed investment support and production volume incentive – to carmakers that domestically produce a certain number of units (not lower than 200,000 in any case) of a single model over the six years through 2022.
TMP’s model under the CARS programs is its New Vios, with the Vios being the country’s top-selling vehicle. The local production of side member panels is TMP’s single largest localization project under the CARS program, and will make the New Vios 58% locally made, which is higher than the CARS program requirement of 50%.
The CARS program was the Philippine government’s response to the country’s dependency on imported vehicles. With the Philippines’ integration into the regional bloc Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), tariffs on imports of vehicles within ASEAN were removed, resulting in an influx of cars from Thailand and other countries in the region where production costs are low.
(Sources: Business Mirror; Nikkei Asian Review)