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By:  Doris Dumlao-Abadilla 

Yuchengco-led House of Investments (HI) is shutting down five car dealership units in Metro Manila – four Honda and one Isuzu outlets – effective June 2 this year as part of measures to ensure “overall greater efficiency” in its automotive business.

This represents 45 percent of its car dealership network of 11 outlets in its automotive portfolio.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday, HI said it had decided to close Honda Fairview, Honda Marikina, Honda Marcos Highway, Honda Kalookan and Isuzu Greenhills.

In relation with the dealership streamlining, HI said it would implement a redundancy program on its workforce.

The decision to close these dealerships was made following a “careful and thorough assessment of its car business organization, dealerships and the needed manpower, machines and processes,” the disclosure said.

In a report last March – after the government locked down Metro Manila, and eventually the whole of Luzon, to curb the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – think tank Fitch Solutions said vehicle sales in the Philippines would face “severe downside risks” in 2020 as strict movement restrictions would gnaw on demand for vehicles. 

Due to such a large proportion of vehicle sales emanating from Luzon, Fitch Solutions downgraded its outlook on total vehicle sales for 2020 to a marginal 0.4 percent increase to reach 371,456 units versus its previous forecast of a 7.4-percent increase.