Japanese firm chooses PH for wiring harness project

Published October 22, 2020, 5:00 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Yokowo Co., Ltd. has chosen the Philippines as location for its automotive wiring harness and components manufacturing and assembly operations after conducting due diligence spanning over 12 among  ASEAN countries.

In a statement, the Department of Trade and Industry said Yokowo plans to conduct ground-breaking activities, slated for January 2022, for a new 3.7-hectare factory of wire harness and components in the Hermoso Ecozone Industrial Park in Bataan. The company will infuse  P230 million in the new facility and will require a labor force of 800 workers, which is set to commence operations in April 2022.  

Shown (from left) are: Former Branch Manager of Yokowo (Singapore) Pte. Ltd Philippines office Mr. Tomo Yoshida, Department of Trade and Industry-Board of Investments Executive Director for Industry Development Services Corieh Dichosa, DTI Special Trade Representative Dita Angara-Mathay, Yokowo Manufacturing of the Philippines, Inc. Director Mr. Yusuke Kobayashi, and Yokowo Manufacturing of the Philippines, Inc. President Mr. Yutaka Fujita.

The DTI also quoted Yokowo Chief Executive Officer Yutaka Fujita as saying, “The Philippines will play an important role in the company’s regional strategy for supply chain stratification that has always been responsive to expected increases in business volume and global expansion of major clientele.” 

A new player in the Philippine wiring harness production landscape, Yokowo recently registered a 100 percent wholly owned business in the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission under the name Yokowo Manufacturing of the Philippines

 Trade and Industry (DTI) Special Trade Representative to Japan Dita Angara-Mathay, who worked for the Yokowo project, said the Philippine venture will support Yokowo’s in-vehicle communication equipment business which accounts for about 60 percent of the Group’s consolidated sales.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Yokowo Co., Ltd., offers innovative high-tech products to manufacturers worldwide in the advancing electronics, electrical machinery and automotive industries. Yokowo describes itself as specialists in antennas, fine connectors, microwaves and advanced devices for the automotive, semiconductor testing systems, mobile device and advanced medical device sectors. 

“Apart from generating more employment opportunities for Filipinos during this pandemic, Yokowo’s expansion project in the country also supports our innovation and technology-driven thrust in DTI as well as increases market competitiveness in our wiring industry,” DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said. 

Lopez also added that this is the second Japanese investment in wiring harness production in the Philippines this year, the first being Sumitomo Wiring Systems, which is setting up the company’s biggest factory in the world in Pangasinan.

At a minimum, the expansion project of Sumitomo will provide employment opportunities for 10,000 workers in Northern Luzon, adding to the company’s total roster of 55,000 in the Philippines. 

The shift witnessed in the automotive industry towards fuel efficiency will generate greater demand for wiring harness systems in the future. Increasing global demand for electric vehicles will further unleash developmental opportunities for market participants over the next couple of years as more governments pledge to support the adoption of electric vehicles to reduce fuel emissions.