Philippine conglomerate Yuchengco group invests in Geely brand cars’ distributor
By Yu Takeuchi
MANILA, NNA – The investment arm of Philippine conglomerate Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC) has bought a stake in Japanese trading house Sojitz Corp.’s local subsidiary in charge of selling and aftersales of Chinese Geely brand cars, to help the Chinese automaker penetrate the local car market, which is currently dominated by Japanese makers.
YGC’s holding company House of Investments Inc. acquired last month a 20 percent stake for 50 million pesos ($988,000) in Sojitz G Auto Philippines Corp. which was established in March this year, credible sources have told NNA.
House of Investments has a long track record in car sales. It owns and operates dealerships for two Japanese car brands -- Honda and Isuzu.
Through the partnership, Sojitz is hoping to collect information on regulatory changes while providing auto loans through YGC’s Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.
The sources confirmed the deal with NNA last week, saying teaming up with the YGC would help them easily build sales networks in the Philippines for Geely brand vehicles, which made a comeback this year after leaving the local market over a decade ago.
Currently, there is only flagship store, located in Quezon City, that offers Geely cars. The local sales unit began operations in September and offers only the Coolray SUV model. The sources said they hope to sell over 1,000 units in its first financial year from September this year.
Sojitz aims to open more stores nationwide in the future.
The major Japanese trading house had a 49 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., the local arm of Mitsubishi Motors Corp., and sold the share last year as part of a review of its portfolio.
It also established Sojitz Fuso Philippines Corp., which distributes the Fuso brand trucks and buses of Mitsubishi in the country.
The local car market is currently dominated by Japanese car brands such as Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan.