Local Parts Manufacturers, Modern Jeepneys Highlight 2nd PhilAPEX

Patrick Everett Tadeo

The local car parts manufacturing industry is once again showcasing its products at the 2nd Philippine Auto & Parts Expo (PhilAPEX) which runs until today, August 10, at the SMX Convention Center in the SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.

First staged last year at the Philippine Trade Training Center, also in Pasay City, the event is the ideal venue for manufacturers for the automotive industry–from original equipment to parts and components to vehicles–to present their products and production capabilities to prospective customers, which could range from third-party manufacturers to mainstream vehicle brands looking to expand their network of parts providers.

A new development for this year’s show is the rise of parts manufacturing using 3D printing technology to create products, with two exhibitors even printing their offerings onsite at the expo.

Like last year, locally-developed public utility vehicles are the centerpieces for the two-day event, bannered by manufacturers like Foton, Hino, Isuzu, JMC, Suzuki, and Tata, as well as by local truck body manufacturers like Almazora, Centro, and Santarosa.

Of course, it’s not hard to miss that greeting the expo’s visitors as they enter the venue are the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 and Toyota Vios–products of the government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program which it hopes “will revitalize the Philippine automotive industry, and develop the country as a regional automotive manufacturing hub.” Mitsubishi even has a stripped Mirage G4 on display, highlighting which parts are made in-house, which parts are outsourced locally, and which are imported.

What’s interesting to know is that a few of the local parts manufacturer have actually been tapped as original equipment manufacturers by car brands outside of the Philippines. One manufacturer, for example, makes the seats for the Mazda 3 in Japan and the Toyota Rush in Indonesia.

An interesting conversation we’ve had with some of the parts manufacturers though is that they’ve expanded their business outside of the automotive industry. Although it is still their main source of livelihood, some manufacturers are now supplying their products as well to other industries. Citing the slowdown in vehicle sales this year as brought on by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, one executive said that her company has begun supplying parts for a manufacturer of household appliances.

“We felt the need to expand the business into other industries, just in case the local automotive industry slows down,” the executive told CARMUDI PHILIPPINES. “We have to find a way to survive.”

The President of PhilAPEX’s organizer though is still optimistic of the local automotive industry.

“As this event empowers local suppliers, it will also, in effect, boost the national economy,” said Philippine Parts Makers Association’s (PPMA) Ferdinand Raquelsantos.

“PPMA upholds to coninue giving aid and representation to local automotive industries by soliciting support from all sectors and individual citizens to advocate and prioritize Filipino-made products. Because the key to a strong Philippine automotive industry is that which is patronized and trusted by their very own government, members, and all Filipinos,” the PPMA said in a statement.

As mentioned, the 2nd PhilAPEX is only until today with the doors closing for good at 5 PM.

2nd PhilAPEX
2nd PhilAPEX
2nd PhilAPEX