CARS extension eyed, volume cap to stay

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    The Board of Investments (BOI) is open to extend the compliance period of the two automotive companies enrolled in a manufacturing program in the light of the slump in car sales.

    But BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said the volume requirement will stay.

    In a press briefing, Rodolfo said BOI is open to discussions for a longer period of compliance from the current six years of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) where the Vios of Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) and Mirage of Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. (MMPC) are enrolled.

    Rodolfo said the requirement for each assembler to produce 200,000 units of their enrolled models will stay.

    “We understand the situation of the domestic industry. The specific objective is to help domestic manufacturing and assembly of automotive and parts makers. We know they are operating in a difficult environment and we arewilling to take a look at their proposals on volume requirement, on timeline for compliance to the volume. But under the current policy direction, we are looking at a longer time without adjusting the volume,” Rodolfo said.

    Rodolfo noted the need to give TMP and MMPC “any bit of help or assistance” as an incentive to continue local manufacturing.

    He said TMP and MMPC may submit to the BOI their specific recommendations and may present data on their enrolled units compared to overall sales.

    The information will be tackled by the Inter-Agency Committee on CARS which will be reconvened by the BOI after the conclusion of an independent audit on the two assemblers’ compliance to CARS’ fixed investment requirement.

    The UP Engineering Center was commissioned to validate whether or not TMP and MMPC have installed the machinery related to the production of the Vios and the Mirage.

    The committee would also discuss if the two assemblers have filed applications for incentives.

    Investments in big parts like metal process and stamping plant would qualify the CARS participants to incentives. Variable incentives are also granted to the assemblers once they meet certain volumes.

    “We have to determine the policy with respect to how we can help them comply while at the same time making sure that we are able to maximize the benefits from the CARS program given the current context,” he said.