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PIA Press Release

PGMA keynotes 2nd Philippine International Motor Show

Manila (21 August) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be the keynote speaker of the 2nd Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) set to open today (Thursday) and will run until the 24th at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The 2nd PIMS is not just a motor show but a showcase of the local auto industry's strength, agility and economic might with 15 of the global auto brands participating with the support of their parent firms that recognize the Philippines' growing significance as a viable auto market in the region.

Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) President Elizabeth Lee said the show is a testament to investors' faith and confidence in the Philippines.

"Having an international caliber motor show helps put our local auto industry, and the Philippines for that matter, on the automotive industry map. Almost all developed countries have a large motor show that serves as a venue to show off, not only their cars, but the host country as well. Perhaps soon, instead of us flying off to see Bangkok Motor Show, they would fly to the Philippines to come see ours," Lee said.

Lee further said than more than generating excitement over the glitzy car displays and taking a peek into the future of motoring, the 2nd PIMS is a clarion call for all Filipino consumers and car enthusiasts to rally behind the local auto industry.

She said Filipinos must be proud that such an international motor show is right in their doorsteps.

In spite of the pall of gloom descending upon the global automotive industry these days, as threats of soaring fuel prices and shrinking purchasing power continue to cause jitters among nervous consumers, and as when major auto markets like the US are reporting double-digit sales slump and shedding thousands of jobs, the Philippine auto industry provides a stark contrast.

In fact, the Philippine auto industry continues to experience double-digit growth, with total vehicle sales rising 14.2% so far this year from year-ago levels.

This can be attributed to the steady stream of dollar inflows from overseas Filipino workers and investments by rising entrepreneurs that the local auto industry has so far bucked the trend and side-stepped the global slowdown in car sales in the first seven months of the year, according to the CAMPI.

Robust car sales have enabled local auto makers to continue to support the employment of 74,000 Filipinos in the auto industry, although Lee admits "it is an uphill battle, but one that is worth fighting for, considering the large contribution of the industry to the economy as a whole."

The local auto industry is dominated by global auto brands but it plays a major role domestically as an economic driver through the downstream industries that depend on it - from the assemblers and distributors, to the makers of various automotive parts and components, dealers who retail the vehicles, not to mention the many ancillary industries that include car accessories, after-sales service businesses, oil and lubricant industry, among many others.

There are more than 530 players in the automotive industry, which includes 21 passenger car and commercial vehicle assemblers/distributors, 256 parts makers, and more than 240 dealer outlets nationwide.

More than 74,000 Filipinos directly depend on the auto industry for their living. The Automotive Industry Workers Alliance (AIWA) estimates that at least 500,000 family members benefit from every vehicle and car parts made, assembled, distributed or sold in the market or exported abroad.

The economy benefits in the form of government revenues from taxes paid which enables it to spend on building roads, bridges and infrastructure. In 2007 alone, the local automotive industry contributed a total of P18.92 billion in taxes, up from P14.94 billion in 2006.

"It is critical to understand the importance of an auto industry as a key driver to an economy, especially to one like ours. The Philippine automotive industry is perhaps one of only two remaining significant manufacturing efforts in the Philippines," said Ms. Lee.

"No successful, developed country is without an auto industry that contributes significantly to its gross domestic product," she added.

Every car part made and assembled in the country and exported to the world is a testament to the innate skill of Filipinos.

Filipino-made parts find their way in the assembly process - from transmission and engine components to suspension, seats, bumpers and electrical wiring. In fact, one of the country's top export industries, aside from electronics, are assembled automotive parts and components, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

Locally sourced parts, such as wiring harness, are exported from the Philippines and used by major auto brands in the US, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, and Vietnam. Other automakers use the Philippines as an ASEAN manufacturing hub to export parts overseas. These include transmissions and CV joints- critical parts that are essential to vehicles being sold in many countries to include the ASEAN, The Netherlands, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

Global auto brands have heavily invested in the country by setting up local assembly plants. In fact, a flexible fuel plant was inaugurated just last year. But more needs to be done to increase the Philippines' footprint and participation in the global value chain. Expanding the domestic market is one way to do it, Ms. Lee said.

"There is clearly an opportunity for added expansion in the Philippine market vis--vis its ASEAN neighbors, given our low car ownership relative to population - another potential for domestic market expansion," she said. "We want to encourage the Philippines' stronger integration within the ASEAN supply chain - which is not only feasible, but can be a reality."

This is just one of the reasons why Lee said mounting a motor show of international caliber is important for the Philippines.

About a hundred vehicles are expected to be on display at the motor show, with an expanded floor space of 11,000 square meters to accommodate 15 global auto brands and the numerous ancillary industries that make up the Philippine auto industry.

The grander and bolder show will showcase fuel-efficient vehicles and the latest concept cars in line with this year's PIMS theme, "Drive the Future: Towards Cleaner and Safer Motoring."

CAMPI was formed on May 16, 1995 by 11 founding member-companies composed of motor vehicle manufacturers which participated in the Motor Vehicle Development Program of the government.

It is a socially responsible automotive industry association in partnership with the Philippine government and other stakeholders in pursuit of economic growth through the development of a viable and self-sustaining local automotive industry.

Its aims to be an engine of growth through investments and government revenue generation, employment creation, manpower skills development, technology transfer, environmental protection and safety promotion under a policy environment responsive to the developmental needs of the industry and society.

The 2nd PIMS was organized by the CAMPI's members that include Asian Carmakers Corporation/BMW Philippines, Columbian Autocar Corporation (Kia), General Motors Automobile Philippines, Inc., Honda Cars Philippines, Inc., Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc., Isuzu Philippines Corporation, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation, Nissan Motor Philippines, Inc., PGA Cars, Inc. (Audi/Porsche), Scandinavian Motors Corporation/Viking Cars, Inc. (Volvo), Suzuki Philippines, Inc., Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation, and Universal Motors Corporation (Nissan LCV). (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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