Isuzu warns it may follow Ford’s lead, shut down local DMax assembly business

By: Likha Cuevas-Miel,
September 21, 2012 3:02 PM

MANILA – Isuzu Philippines Corporation on Friday served notice that it may shut down its local assembly operations amid high costs.

In a briefing, the Japanese carmaker’s executives said the company will have to stop production of the DMax pickup truck next year, as local assembly costs $2,000 more than in Thailand.

The company said it would go the way of Ford Motor Philippines, which earlier announced it was shutting down its assembly operations.

Isuzu used to be among the top three motor vehicle manufacturers in the Philippines, particularly when its Asian utility vehicle lineup had enjoyed tax perks. Since the incentive ended, the company’s share of the market has gone down.

Established in the 1950s, the Philippine unit of Isuzu made its mark through its lineup of trucks. On August 7, 1995, Isuzu Philippines Corporation was born as a joint venture among two Japanese firms – Isuzu Motors Limited and Mitsubishi Corporation – and two Filipino companies – Ayala Corporation and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation.

Isuzu Philippines has 13 hectares of industrial land at the Laguna Technopark in Biñan, Laguna, where the company has a plant that could produce 15,000 units a year.

In the first eight months of this year, the company enjoyed a 21 percent growth, selling 1,022 units of its N-Series of light-duty trucks for a 69 percent share of that segment of the local market.

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