MANILA, Philippines — A firm has expressed interest to take over the assembly plant of Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) in Laguna, according to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Lopez said a firm which already has presence in the Philippines is interested in HCPI’s assembly plant.
He declined to name the firm, but said it is not engaged in the automotive industry.
HCPI recently announced the closure of its plant in Sta. Rosa which assembles the City and BR-V vehicles by March 25.
The move is being made as Honda seeks to optimize resources while delivering reasonably priced and good quality products.
HCPI’s plant closure will affect 387 workers.
Apart from the Philippines, Honda is also closing production plants in other countries like UK, Turkey, Argentina, and Mexico.
“If there are companies leaving, there are also some firms expanding. There are firms that want to locate here, expand operations,” Lopez said.
He said some firms recognize the opportunities the Philippines offers for some products.
“They know it’s a big market for some products and niche market for cars, but maybe not all brands of cars. As I said, Honda for example, is big in motorcycles. But not in the car business,” he said.
While HCPI has low production volume for vehicles, Honda’s motorcycle business tells a different story.
Honda Philippines Inc. is the country’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer.
HCPI only produced 8,000 units last year, even as its assembly plant has an annual capacity of 15,000 units.
HCPI spokesperson Louie Soriano said earlier production volume is based on market demand.