CARS firms cannot meet volume requirement

Published October 19, 2020, 6:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Participants to the tax  incentive-driven Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program have categorically told the government they cannot meet the agreed volume production requirement over the specified 6-year period.

Rommel T. Gutierrez, vice-president of Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), said during the launch of the New Fortuner they have conveyed their situation to Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez during their first meeting via Zoom.

“Initially, we have understanding that CARS terms and conditions need to be revised/reviewed given the situation while there are no specific actions and solutions yet, but we already agreed that volume requirement cannot be met and government  understands that,” said Gutierrez.

CARS Program participants are also expected to hold more meetings to thresh out the volume requirement issue. Aside from TMP, the other CARS program participant is Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., which enrolled its Mirage model in the program. TMP’s enrolled model is Vios.

The CARS Program is a manufacturing scheme that incentivizes participating car companies to produce 200,000 units within six years.

For the new Fortuner, TMP Vice-President Jose Maria Atienza said they expect to sell between 1,200 to 1,500 units a month for the rest of the year given the new safety features and interior and exterior improvements of the best selling SUV in the country.

Fortuner has sold over 220,000 units in the country in the past 15 years and has dominated the mid-size SUV segment with over 30 percent market share.

 The new Fortuner, which is imported CBU from Indonesia, has an SRP price range of P1.633 million to P2.424 million.