It's official: Nissan to stop producing Almera in PH
The local arm for the Japanese automaker Nissan will be stopping the local production of the Nissan Almera in the country, following the expiration of the deal with its assembly partner.
In a statement, Nissan in the Philippines, with its vehicle assembly partner Univation Motor Philippines, Inc. (UMPI) will cease production operations in its facility in Santa Rosa, Laguna starting March this year.
“The decision has been made following the expiration of the assembly contract between Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) and UMPI. The decision is aligned with Nissan’s plan towards optimized production and efficient business operations in the ASEAN region, as part of the Nissan NEXT transformation plan.”
Nissan Philippines Assistant General Manager for Communications Dax Avenido told Carmudi Philippines that they are still studying as to where they would be sourcing the future supply of the Almera for the country.
“We will continue to sell the Almera as we have sufficient supply to meet our customer’s demands,” Avenido said in an interview.
For the pricing of the Nissan Almera, Avenido assured that it will “remain the same at this point.”
Further, the statement from the Japanese automaker said that they “remain committed to its investments in the Philippines.”
“The company will continue to contribute to the growth of the Philippine automotive industry through its innovative products and excellent services, as well as its dealer expansion nationwide. Nissan’s strategy in the Philippines is to keep the customer at the heart of our business, and focus on strengthening the fundamentals of Product, Service, Customer Experience, and People. Our customer-centric approach guides our product and service offerings, as well as network expansion.”
On the other hand, UMPI will continue its other business operations in the country.
“We were informed that UMPI will remain active in the Philippines and continue its other business operations in the country. The well-being of employees is the highest priority. Nissan is coordinating with UMPI to ensure a smooth transition,” it noted.
Moreover, the leadership of the Department of Trade and Industry cited the need for provisional safeguard measures on the local automotive industry.
“The announcement of Nissan to close their assembly operations in the country is regrettable, as these developments all the more demonstrate the critical situation of the local motor vehicle industry. Thus, the provisional safeguard measures need to be immediately put in place to protect the domestic industry from further serious injury,” the Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
In their own statement, DTI mentioned that the sales for the Nissan Almera of around 4,500 “represent just 1 percent of the total vehicle market and its assembly activity employs 133 workers.”
“The stoppage of assembly was expected as in its earlier discussions with the DTI, Nissan has intimated that they already contemplated on closing last year given weaker volume sales and low market share of the Nissan Almera. They have in effect extended their stay. Their major sales come from imported pick-ups and sport utility vehicles (SUVs),” the DTI claimed in its statement.
“The stoppage of Nissan Almera’s assembly operations, following closely that of Honda and Isuzu, only highlights that the local auto assembly industry is critically impacted by the surge in imports and will thus benefit from the time-bound safeguard duty,” Lopez said.
“Alongside the modernized incentives being made available under the CREATE Bill, the DTI is undertaking a comprehensive approach to revive the auto industry - employing coherent policy measures while still maintaining fair trade and the contestability of the market for imports. This, together with the major reforms we are doing—such as the Public Service Act, the Rice Tariffication Law and the Build, Build, Build program, and many more—will bring about a more attractive investment climate moving forward,” the trade chief added.
Photos from Nissan in the Philippines, DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez Facebook page