Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) presented to the media last week its high-tech facilities, which were completed under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.The company’s P5.38 billion investments in the CARS project enhanced not only the company’s local production capabilities, but ultimately added value to revitalize vehicle and parts manufacturing in the country.
In his welcome message, TMP president Satoru Suzuki said that, “We, at Toyota, have always believed that the auto manufacturing industry’s growth is a catalyst for national development. As such, we have continued the local production of our bestselling models over the years, thereby providing employment and sustaining many small- and medium-scale enterprises that are the backbone of our economy.”
Towards “smart” and “green” manufacturing
For TMP alone, CARS investments include the local parts production of the Toyota Vios at the Resin Injection Molding Facility for bumpers and instrument panels, Roller-Hemming Robots at the welding line, and the newly-inaugurated A0 Press Line for stamping of side member panels.
Through these investments, TMP has started its journey towards “smart manufacturing,” integrating high-tech equipment in the Toyota Production System. Such facilities use robots to automate repetitive tasks, making production processes more efficient. To handle new production technologies, TMP also made substantial investments in manpower training for the acquisition of new skills.
Aside from acquiring new production technologies, TMP continuously supports its local suppliers in developing technical know-how, upgrading their manpower skills, and in addressing technical gaps through Technical Assistance Agreements (TAA) with Toyota’s network of suppliers in the Asia Pacific region. Among the CARS-enrolled suppliers having TAA include Valerie Products Manufacturing (with Ogihara Thailand Co. Ltd.) and Manly Plastics (with Toyoda Gosei Thailand Co. Ltd).
Through strong collaboration, TMP and its suppliers were able to produce the Toyota Vios with greater local content, specifically for big body shell and large plastic parts that have a very complex nature of production. Currently, localization ratio is at 58 percent.
In preparing for a more sustainable future, Toyota has started equipping its manufacturing operations with greener technologies. TMP’s investment in the 1-MW solar array enables supply of about four percent of the manufacturing plant’s annual energy requirements, reducing 790 tons in CO2 emissions.
Likewise, several karakuri projects in the production line have been started to further reduce electricity consumption, such as the use of mechanical equipment which optimize a gravity-balance system. These initiatives are well aligned with the objectives of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 — to lessen carbon footprint in every stage of business operations and add more value to society.
Contribution to PH economy and society
The demand for locally produced vehicles has enabled Toyota to expand its production operations in the country, hence contributing more to the Philippine economy in terms of investments, taxes, employment and technology transfer.
“We take it as an honor and privilege that Toyota’s business activities in the country have given us the opportunity to contribute, not only to our Team Members, but also to the development of our supply chain and our dealer network. These activities have also given us the means to implement the many corporate social responsibility projects that we have pursued directly and through the TMP Foundation,” Suzuki remarked.
In its over 30-year history, TMP has grown to be the largest auto manufacturer and distributor in the country with the widest product line-up of 21 models and 71 dealer outlets nationwide to date. Employment in TMP’s value chain has reached over 55,000 employees, encompassing white and blue collar jobs.
Having a high multiplier effect, the auto industry’s growth in the country has paved the way in expanding auto parts manufacturing, bringing in more investments and new technological skills and know-how. Currently, the industry employs direct and indirect manpower of over 500,000.