Toyota eyes Philippines as Asian auto hub

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. and partner Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd. of Japan are grooming the Philippines to be the next hub for automatic transmission production in Southeast Asia through Toyota Aisin Philippines Inc., formerly Toyota Autoparts Philippines Inc.

Aisin Seiki recently increased its ownership of TAP to 61 percent from 34 percent, infusing P1.2 billion to fund TAP’s expansion into AT production.

Aisin Seiki president Yasumori Ihada said the new shareholder arrangement would benefit both Aisin and TAP.

“We believe that this arrangement will bring two positive development in the areas of MT and AT. First, we know TAP has highly capable people available but unfortunately the capacity utilization is not too high. Our idea is to move MT production from Japan or Thailand to TAP. This will increase capacity utilization without any investment and will improve competitiveness,” he said.

He said the move would also enable Aisin to generate extra sales from the bundling of volume.

“This is the first major benefit TAP is going to get. Second is on AT. Aisin is looking for somebody to help us with AT production. This time we decided to do the part here. This is going to be win-win for both Aisin and TAP. For Aisin, we can get the necessary AT parts and even if MT parts go down in the future, they will be able to prepare for that by doing the AT part here (Philippines),” Ihada said.

TAP remains the export base for MT apart from Thailand and will become the export base of AT parts as well.

The Philippine subsidiary is producing 250,000 units of MT while the Thailand unit is manufacturing 350,000 units.

TAP capacity will be maximized once Aisin Seiki decides to consolidate production from both plants to TAP.

TAP is poised to produce about 400,000 units of AT units from the TAP facility in Sta. Rosa Laguna for export to Southeast Asia and other destinations that Aisin Seiki will identify.

Aisin Seiki clarified it would not produce any other parts apart from MT and AT in its Philippine hub. 

“Right now, we would like to concentrate on these two areas. Safe to say we don’t plan on anything to do other than that,” the company said.

Following the organizational change, TAP expects more efficient production, as a subsidiary of Aisin, leveraging its expertise and knowledge.

Toyota and Aisin will further strengthen their collaboration through the optimization of the powertrain production system and new product development.

The Aisin Group as a whole plan to improve its competitiveness in the powertrain business.

Aisin Group is a global supplier of automotive components with over 200 companies operating within the group.

Topics: Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. , Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd. of Japan , Toyota Aisin Philippines Inc. , Yasumori Ihada
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