Corporate News

Toyota halts output in Laguna

Posted on April 14, 2011

INDUSTRY LEADER Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) will halt production at its Laguna plant for three days next week due to a shortage in car parts sourced from disaster-stricken Japan, joining two other car assemblers that have announced similar shutdowns.

TOYOTA MOTOR Philippines Corp. has announced a three-day production halt after its supply of parts sourced from disaster-stricken Japan ran low. This comes after similar cuts in output imposed by Ford Group Philippines and Honda Cars Philippines, Inc.
The local arm of the Japanese car maker will shutter its factory from April 18-20 and will just attempt to make up for the lost hours later in the year, Rommel R. Gutierrez, TMP vice-president for management services and corporate planning, yesterday said.

“TMP will have three non-production days in April due to temporary limitation in supply of production parts,” Mr. Gutierrez said in a text message.

“At this time, we plan to recover these non-production days in the coming months,” he added.

The company’s assembly lines in Sta. Rosa, Laguna can churn out 30,500 units in a year after an expansion was implemented in late 2010 to serve robust demand, earlier reports show.

Toyota’s local arm accounted for 38% of total sales of 16 car firms in the first quarter, industry data show. The company is targeting a 6%-7% in sales to 62,000 units by yearend. It is unknown whether the target will be recast after the production halt.

Mr. Gutierrez claimed that the work stoppage will have “no effect on workers as we will reschedule production days in the coming months.”

Mr. Gutierrez went on to assure that the company would coordinate with Toyota Motor Corp. in Japan and its local suppliers to monitor the supply situation.

This comes on the heels of earlier announcements from Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. and Ford Group Philippines to cut down on production.

Honda Cars Philippines had said it would temporarily cut production by half at its assembly plant in Sta. Rosa Laguna, south of Metro Manila starting this month.

Ford Group Philippines followed suit, advancing 18 previously scheduled down days at its Sta. Rosa, Laguna facility starting this week.

Despite this suspension, Ford Philippines said interested buyers will have enough inventories.

“Overall, our inventories are adequate to support consumer demand at this point,” Anika Salceda-Wycoco, Ford Philippines assistant vice-president for communications, said in an e-mail to BusinessWorld yesterday.

“Employees have been asked to maximize their vacation leave balance [in line with Easter/Holy Week]. Also, some of the days will be utilized for regular trainings for our employees,” she added.

Disruption in supply and logistics had been forecast after Japanese car makers like Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. suspended production in Japan in the wake of the disasters last month.

Frank M. Nacua, secretary-general of the Philippine Automotive Federation, claimed other car and part makers here will likely slow production over the Holy Week as well.

“Board of Investments-registered manufacturers and assemblers will take advantage of the Lenten break,” Mr. Nacua said.

Homer A. Maranan, secretary-general of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc., said the group is seeking regular updates from members. -- AMGR