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Isuzu Philippines: Expansion not on agenda

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October 8, 2008

Isuzu Philippines: Expansion not on agenda
Isuzu Philippines Corp will maintain its current production levels amid the global economic slowdown.

Local daily the Manila Times quoted Keiji Takeda, Isuzu Philippines president, as saying the car manufacturer would not expand its vehicle assembly activities this year.

“We are careful due to the current economic situation,” he said.

At present, Isuzu assembles in its Biñan, Laguna, plant 5,000 units of Crosswind Asian utility vehicles, 2,000 units of D-Max pick-up trucks and 1,000 units of various passenger van and truck models. The total annual production of 8,000 units is about halfway below the plant’s maximum production capacity of 15,000 units per year, Takeda said.

Sister company Isuzu Autoparts Manufacturing Corp. manufactures and distributes transmissions. Some of these vehicle components are exported to Vietnam, he said.

Isuzu Philippines has already sold around 7,700 units for the first nine months of this year, Takeda said.

With the present economic condition, Takeda said hitting Isuzu Philippines’ target of selling 11,200 units this year, which is 14 percent higher than last year, would be a “challenge.”

The company executive cited high inflation as a major reason why auto sales have slowed down especially in August and September this year. Year-to-date sales of the local automotive industry, however, are still higher than last year.

The Crosswind remains Isuzu’s best-selling model, while D-Max the sells the most in its segment, Takeda said.

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