Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Motor Cars


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President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be the keynote speaker of the
2nd Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) set to open on Thursday
and will run until the 24th at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The 2nd PIMS is not just a motor show but a showcase of the local auto
industryâ•˙s strength, agility and economic might with 15 of the global
auto brands participating with the support of their parent firms that
recognize the Philippinesâ•˙ growing significance as a viable auto
market in the region.

Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI)
President Elizabeth Lee said the show is a testament to investorsâ•˙
faith and confidence in the Philippines.

╲Having an international caliber motor show helps put our local auto
industry, and the Philippines for that matter, on the automotive
industry map. Almost all developed countries have a large motor show
that serves as a venue to show off, not only their cars, but the host
country as well. Perhaps soon, instead of us flying off to see Bangkok
Motor Show, they would fly to the Philippines to come see ours,╡ Lee said.

Lee further said than more than generating excitement over the glitzy
car displays and taking a peek into the future of motoring, the 2nd
PIMS is a clarion call for all Filipino consumers and car enthusiasts
to rally behind the local auto industry.

She said Filipinos must be proud that such an international motor show
is right in their doorsteps.

In spite of the pall of gloom descending upon the global automotive
industry these days, as threats of soaring fuel prices and shrinking
purchasing power continue to cause jitters among nervous consumers,
and as when major auto markets like the US are reporting double-digit
sales slump and shedding thousands of jobs, the Philippine auto
industry provides a stark contrast.

In fact, the Philippine auto industry continues to experience
double-digit growth, with total vehicle sales rising 14.2% so far this
year from year-ago levels.

This can be attributed to the steady stream of dollar inflows from
overseas Filipino workers and investments by rising entrepreneurs that
the local auto industry has so far bucked the trend and side-stepped
the global slowdown in car sales in the first seven months of the
year, according to the CAMPI.

Robust car sales have enabled local auto makers to continue to support
the employment of 74,000 Filipinos in the auto industry, although Lee
admits "it is an uphill battle, but one that is worth fighting for,
considering the large contribution of the industry to the economy as a

The local auto industry is dominated by global auto brands but it
plays a major role domestically as an economic driver through the
downstream industries that depend on it â•" from the assemblers and
distributors, to the makers of various automotive parts and
components, dealers who retail the vehicles, not to mention the many
ancillary industries that include car accessories, after-sales service
businesses, oil and lubricant industry, among many others.

There are more than 530 players in the automotive industry, which
includes 21 passenger car and commercial vehicle
assemblers/distributors, 256 parts makers, and more than 240 dealer
outlets nationwide.

More than 74,000 Filipinos directly depend on the auto industry for
their living. The Automotive Industry Workers Alliance (AIWA)
estimates that at least 500,000 family members benefit from every
vehicle and car parts made, assembled, distributed or sold in the
market or exported abroad.

The economy benefits in the form of government revenues from taxes
paid which enables it to spend on building roads, bridges and
infrastructure. In 2007 alone, the local automotive industry
contributed a total of P18.92 billion in taxes, up from P14.94 billion
in 2006.

"It is critical to understand the importance of an auto industry as a
key driver to an economy, especially to one like ours. The Philippine
automotive industry is perhaps one of only two remaining significant
manufacturing efforts in the Philippines," said Ms. Lee.

"No successful, developed country is without an auto industry that
contributes significantly to its gross domestic product," she added.
Every car part made and assembled in the country and exported to the
world is a testament to the innate skill of Filipinos.

Filipino-made parts find their way in the assembly process â•" from
transmission and engine components to suspension, seats, bumpers and
electrical wiring. In fact, one of the country's top export
industries, aside from electronics, are assembled automotive parts and
components, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

Locally sourced parts, such as wiring harness, are exported from the
Philippines and used by major auto brands in the US, Japan, Canada,
the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, and Vietnam. Other automakers
use the Philippines as an ASEAN manufacturing hub to export parts
overseas. These include transmissions and CV jointsâ•" critical parts
that are essential to vehicles being sold in many countries to include
the ASEAN, The Netherlands, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

"Global auto brands have heavily invested in the country by setting up
local assembly plants. In fact, a flexible fuel plant was inaugurated
just last year. But more needs to be done to increase the Philippines'
footprint and participation in the global value chain. Expanding the
domestic market is one way to do it," Ms. Lee said.

"There is clearly an opportunity for added expansion in the Philippine
market vis-Ã -vis its ASEAN neighbors, given our low car ownership
relative to population â•" another potential for domestic market
expansion," she said. "We want to encourage the Philippines' stronger
integration within the ASEAN supply chain â•" which is not only
feasible, but can be a reality."

This is just one of the reasons why Lee said mounting a motor show of
international caliber is important for the Philippines.

About a hundred vehicles are expected to be on display at the motor
show, with an expanded floor space of 11,000 square meters to
accommodate 15 global auto brands and the numerous ancillary
industries that make up the Philippine auto industry.

The grander and bolder show will showcase fuel-efficient vehicles and
the latest concept cars in line with this year's PIMS theme, "Drive
the Future: Towards Cleaner and Safer Motoring."

CAMPI was formed on May 16, 1995 by 11 founding member-companies
composed of motor vehicle manufacturers which participated in the
Motor Vehicle Development Program of the government.

It is a socially responsible automotive industry association in
partnership with the Philippine government and other stakeholders in
pursuit of economic growth through the development of a viable and
self-sustaining local automotive industry.

Its aims to be an engine of growth through investments and government
revenue generation, employment creation, manpower skills development,
technology transfer, environmental protection and safety promotion
under a policy environment responsive to the developmental needs of
the industry and society.

The 2nd PIMS was organized by the CAMPIâ•˙s members that include Asian
Carmakers Corporation/BMW Philippines, Columbian Autocar Corporation
(Kia), General Motors Automobile Philippines, Inc., Honda Cars
Philippines, Inc., Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc., Isuzu Philippines
Corporation, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation, Nissan Motor
Philippines, Inc., PGA Cars, Inc. (Audi/Porsche), Scandinavian Motors
Corporation/Viking Cars, Inc. (Volvo), Suzuki Philippines, Inc.,
Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation, and Universal Motors Corporation
(Nissan LCV).

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