Japanese carmakers in Philippines resume production after 2-month halt over Covid-19

19, May. 2020

Photo by Sourav Mishra from Pexels
Photo by Sourav Mishra from Pexels

MANILA, NNA – Major Japanese carmakers have partially resumed production in the Philippines after a two-month suspension as a lockdown to contain the Covid-19 outbreak eased last week.

At least five makers – Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Isuzu and Hino – restarted factory operations on Monday, their spokespersons confirmed with NNA. Last Saturday, the government further relaxed lockdown measures to largely allow corporate activities.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., the leading automaker in the country, restarted its plant with employees working on a single shift, said a spokesman of Toyota Daihatsu Engineering and Manufacturing Co., the regional headquarters in Thailand overseeing compact car operations in emerging markets.

The Japanese auto giant produces the Vios sedan and other models at the plant with an annual capacity of some 55,000 units. It turned out 54,000 vehicles last year, according to the spokesman.

He said the Japanese auto giant is not yet able to foresee how the Philippine operation will go in the near future, as it aims to adjust production in line with the government’s guidelines.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., the second-largest carmaker there, has tried to get back to normal operations for its passenger cars and small trucks output. It has resumed parts procurement in and outside the country, said a senior executive of the local unit, who declined to be named.

Univation Motor Philippines Inc., the assembler of Nissan Motor Co., also restarted producing cars such as the Almera sedan and does not face any problems in operations including sourcing components, said a spokesperson of Nissan Philippines Inc., the local subsidiary. Nissan brand cars are the third most popular in the domestic market.

The Philippine government implemented the lockdown throughout the whole of Luzon Island on March 17 to curb social and economic activities, but it narrowed down the restricted area to greater Manila in early April.