Yamaha allots nearly P3 billion for manufacturing expansion

YAMAHA MOTOR Philippines, Inc. has launched a P2.7-billion factory expansion at the Lima Technology Center in Batangas to increase its Philippine manufacturing operations.

The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer noted an increase in demand for its automatic models as fewer people used public transportation during the lockdown, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said in a press release on Tuesday.

Yamaha Philippines President Hiroshi Koike was quoted as saying: “Generating a huge number of products will result to creation of more jobs — roughly about 1,500 employees for old factory and additional recruitment of 1,300 workforce for this newly-built factory.”

Registered with PEZA since 2007, Yamaha announced the expansion project in 2019.

“PEZA welcomes YAMAHA’s Expansion Project, especially during this time that we are reeling from the uncertainties at hand,” PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza said.

Overall motorcycle sales in the country decreased during the lockdown last year.

The Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association (MDPPA) said that despite busy motorcycle-based delivery services during the lockdown, product sales fell 33.3% to 941,260 units in the first 10 months last year compared to the same period in 2019. The organization represents motorcycle brands in the Philippines: Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha.

“While almost a million-unit sales is already a victory in itself, given the present state of the economy, it is by no means an indication of growth as some would speculate,” the group said in December.

“It does, however, suggest that even as the motorcycle industry suffered under the current business climate, it is coping as well as can be expected.”

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) plans to issue an order against installment-only payment schemes for vehicles, including motorcycles. Consumers must have the choice to pay either the full amount in cash to avoid interest or by installment, DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a recent Senate hearing. — Jenina P. Ibañez