Corporate News

German manufacturer opens P2.4-B facility

Posted on January 21, 2016

GERMAN power tool maker Stihl Holding Group on Wednesday inaugurated its P2.5-billion carburetor manufacturing plant in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, which is expected to account for more than 50% of the company’s total production this year.

Stihl officials yesterday said the plant, which is under its subsidiary Zama Corp., will have 10 assembly lines producing a total of 8 million units of carburetors annually. These will be exported to customers in China, Europe, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico.

Located at the First Philippine Industrial Park, the 60,000-square-meter facility is expected to run full operations by April this year. Stihl said the Batangas plant is their second biggest facility in Asia for Zama.

Zama, the world’s largest manufacturer of diaphragm carburetors, operates plants in Japan, Hong Kong, United States and China, where their largest manufacturing facility is located but will be transferred from Shenzhen to another county.

The Philippine plant currently employs 183, but is expected to increase its staff to more than 600 by end-2016 and 950 by end-2017. Zama employs 2,400 workers worldwide.

The company said 230 more machines will be added to the 160 operating machines currently installed at the facility.

Asked about expansion plans in the country, Stihl officials said they are thinking “of additional business opportunities outside the carburetor business.”

“It is normally a safe bet [that] we will continue to grow, and at some time in the future we will need to build more [facilities],” said Dr. Nikolas Stihl, chairman of the advisory board of Stihl Holding AG & Co.

“The Philippines is an attractive industrial location. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region; it is politically stable compared to other countries in the region and has a well-structured educational system with English as an official language,” said Stihl Executive Board Chairman Dr. Bertram Kandziora.

Aside from Stihl, the other companies operating in the ecozone include Honda Group, Nasdaq-listed SunPower Corp., Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., B/E Aerospace, Canon Business Machines, and Swiss giant Nestlé. -- Janina C. Lim