The beginning of the six-year term of a new President naturally creates questions about what impact his administration will have on the automotive industry. The auto industry, after all, plays a major role in the country’s economic development.
To get an idea of what some auto industry leaders hope for and expect, PDI Motoring sent them 3 questions:
1) What do you hope for the automotive industry under the Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos, Jr. administration?
2) The administration of Bongbong Marcos’s father, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, initiated the Progressive Car Manufacturing Program (PCMP) but it was discontinued by the succeeding administration. Would you welcome an un updated version of the PCMP?
3) What advice re the auto industry would you offer the new heads of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and the Department of Transportation (DOTR), if your advice is asked?
Here are the answers of selected industry leaders:
ROMMEL GUTIERREZ, Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the PH, Inc. (CAMPI) president:
1) The automotive industry has been showing signs of recovery from the pandemic. We
have seen positive sales growth lately and we are optimistic that we can hit pre-pandemic levels soon. We should keep the momentum and avoid policy changes that will interrupt the continued growth trajectory.
2) We very much welcome and look forward to government continuing its programs aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of local manufacturing of automobiles. The Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy or CARS program must be extended in order to realize its noble objectives. Sustained appropriate government support from the new administration will certainly boost the confidence of foreign investors.
3) The auto industry should be able to maintain its strong collaboration with the government, particularly DTI and DOF. It is only through such collaboration that appropriate policies and programs can be established. Other government agencies like the BIR and BOC should also get their acts together so that we can have consistent policy implementation.
MA. FE PEREZ-AGUDO, Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) president:
1) On the short-term recovery to the pre-pandemic state of the industry at the earliest
possible time and a return of the previous growth rates. On the medium-to-long term, we look forward to a consistent, fair, inclusive, and forward-looking strategy from the new administration.
• Consistency in policy direction will allow businesses and other stakeholders to make key decisions amidst our volatile global economic landscape.
• Fair policy directions would enable a level playing field in the industry, ultimately enhancing the consumers’ power of choice.
• A more inclusive administration would encourage policy dialogue with all stakeholders, particularly the automotive companies and organizations.
• And more forward-looking policies would allow the country to meet the demands of the future of mobility.
2) Any initiative to bolster automotive manufacturing capacity in the country is more than
welcome to all industry players. From the regional standpoint (ASEAN), countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam have become preferred automotive manufacturing hubs of global car brands. The Philippines needs to do catch-up and it starts with the policy direction that we ought to take. We will certainly welcome the program if its provisions, incentives and terms will allow and sustain participants to manufacture or assemble vehicles at globally competitive prices, given the program’s potential to contribute to the national economy and welfare.
3) We hope that the DTI will continue to foster the level playing field for all automotive
industry players in terms of privileges, incentives, and trade agreements. For the DOTR, it is to continue improving the nation’s mobility infrastructure, systems, and efficiency.
Aida Sevilla Mendoza is fascinated by everything about cars: their power, styling, design, technology, craftmanship, exciting history of motor sport through the years, and the ever-evolving industry that creates them. But above all, she enjoys driving, especially on a traffic-free expressway where she feels the connection bonding her and the car.