Corporate News

Electric vehicle maker seeks incentives

Posted on January 13, 2014

THE LOCAL UNIT of Japan-based Terra Motors Corp. is seeking incentives from the government as a new producer of electric vehicles in the Philippines, according to a Board of Investments (BoI) notice published in newspapers over the weekend.

TERRA MOTORS Chief Executive Officer Toru Tokusige demonstrates the handling of the company’s e-tryke in Taguig City in this Nov. 28, 2013 photo. -- JLC
“Terra Motors Philippines Corp. (TMPC) is applying for registration with the Board of Investments as a new producer of electric vehicles on a pioneer status with a capacity of 2,500 units per year,” read the notice.

If the firm’s application will be approved, it will enjoy a six-year income tax holiday; duty-free importation of capital equipment to be used for the project covered; permit to employ foreign nationals in supervisory, technical or advisory positions for five years from date of registration; and simplification of customs procedures for importation of equipment and raw materials.

BoI is the agency that approves registration of projects that qualify for such incentives.

Production of motor vehicles, including electric vehicles, is covered in the 2013 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) the government released in November last year which identifies sectors that can avail of state incentives.

Other sectors identified in the IPP are agribusiness and fisheries; creative industries or knowledge-based services; shipbuilding; iron and steel; energy; infrastructure; research and development; green projects; mass housing; strategic projects; hospital and medical services; as well as disaster prevention, mitigation, and recovery projects.

The 2013 IPP came into force on Dec. 5 and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) were released a week later. It will remain in effect until the 2014 IPP is issued. In December last year, Trade Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr. said the department aims to issue the new IPP and its IRR within this quarter.

In September 2012, Toru Tokushige, Terra Motors’ founder and chief executive officer, told reporters at a briefing in Rockwell Center, Makati City that it would be investing roughly $3 million to build a factory in the Philippines to produce electric motorcycles and tricycles for both domestic and foreign markets.

Teppei Seki, Terra Motors director for business development, said in the same briefing: “One of the reasons we’re here is the great interest in electric vehicles in the Philippines.”

“We traveled around Asian markets and found out the Philippines is the only country with keen interest in e-vehicles,” Mr. Seki had said.

TMPC’s factory is located along Acacia Road in Barangay Makiling, Calamba, Laguna, according to the BoI notice.

Established in Tokyo in 2010, Terra Motors has since then expanded its presence in other parts of Asia and the Pacific, a region that accounts for 80% of the world’s scooter and motorcycle market, according to the company’s Web site.

Aside from its factories in Japan and the Philippines, Terra Motors also has a production facility in Vietnam. -- D. E. D. Saclag