Suzuki Car Japan will build car plant in Laguna, Philippines

Susuki Car Japan will build a new car plant in Laguna

Canlubang, Laguna—Japanese car maker Suzuki Motor Corp. plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Laguna, the company's chairman said Thursday.

"We are planning to put up a car manufacturing facility beside our existing motorcycle manufacturing plant in Laguna," Suzuki Motor chairman and chief executive Osamu Suzuki  said during the inauguration of the company's newest Canlubang motorcycle plant.

Suzuki did not provide details on the investment plan. He said the facility would create significant job opportunities for Filipinos, especially for those residing in the Calabarzon area.

Suzuki led the inauguration of the P1-billion motorcycle plant, which started full operations in May this year.  The factory plans to produce 200,000 units annually, or more than double the 96,000 units the company produced in its Pasig City facility.

Suzuki said the plant on a 126,599-square meter property at Carmelray Industrial Park in  Canlubang, Laguna aimed to better serve the growing local motorcycle market. He said the plant was expected to support Suzuki's motorcycle production by 2013.

"With the growing motorcycle market in the Philippines and in the region, we thought it was logical to expand operations in the Philippines so we can better and faster serve our consumer needs," Suzuki said.

"The Canlubang plant will also enhance local parts procurement and its larger production capacity will also make us ready for the growing motorcycle market as the plant is equipped with better machines and processes," he said.

Suzuki Philippines managing director Catalina Calderon said the new plant would be instrumental in achieving a 25-percent market share in 2015. Suzuki holds the third spot in the local market with a 14-percent share.

Calderon said Suzuki Philippines planned to attain a full capacity of 200,000 units annually by 2015. She said the company also intended to export in the future.

Calderon said of the total 300 employees in the Pasig plant, 95 percent chose to work in the new facility in Canlubang while only 5 percent opted for early retirement.

Plans for the new plant came about in 2009, when Suzuki Philippines pushed to increase its sales volume by year 2013.

Before the Canlubang plant, Suzuki's assembly plant was a 6,706-sq. m. facility in Pasig City with a maximum production capacity of 8,000 units per month, or 96,000 units annually.

"This new milestone is keeping true to our company's promise to better the Filipino lives in every aspect, not only with quality vehicles at affordable prices but with provisions of an array of jobs for the people," Suzuki Philippines president Satoshi Uchida said. (http://is.gd/z5qRSZ)

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