Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) recently inaugurated its new P1-billion high-technology press line, which includes a 1600-ton servo-type press machine with automated sheet feeder and unloader robot. This marks the start of local production for side member panels – TMP’s single largest localization project under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.
Side member panels are the largest body shell parts, and require high level of accuracy and quality forming because of its many contact points with other parts of the vehicle body. Investments in servo press technology was necessary to enable localization of side member panels. Compared to mechanical press currently used for metal stamping, servo-type press offers high level of accuracy, better formability and improved repeatability. TMP is the first to utilize this kind of press technology in the local automotive industry.
“Today, we mark another milestone not only for TMP but for the Philippine automotive manufacturing industry as well. We now have the capability to produce the largest body shell part with high productivity, better energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs,” TMP President Satoru Suzuki said during the inaugural ceremony of the press line.
The operationalization of the servo press line beefs up TMP’s in-house parts production capability. The new line has an annual production capacity of 66,000 units and complements TMP’s existing mechanical press line and out-house press parts production. With the localization of side member panels, TMP has achieved 58% localization of total body shell weight for the New Vios, which is more than the CARS requirement of 50%.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo graced the inaugural ceremony at TMP’s manufacturing plant. “I’m very happy that after three (3) years, as part of the CARS program, it’s now being produced in the Philippines,” Rodolfo said as he recalled how side member localization was just an aspiration for TMP in 2016. “I’m very happy that you even surpassed the localization target of 50% so that now we are at 58%. That would not have been possible, first, without the partnership between Toyota [in] Japan and of course the Metrobank Group here in the Philippines, and most especially the hard work of the men and women, the staff, the skilled workers, the administrative personnel that we have here, the Filipinos and Japanese who are working under Toyota Motor Philippines,” he added.
TMP also established a P700-million resin injection molding facility in 2017 to support its localization for CARS. This facility has an annual production capacity of 66,000 units and currently produces bumpers and instrument panels for the New Vios.
TMP’s CARS investments already reached P 5.38-billion as of May 2019. Its participating model, the New Vios, remains the best-selling passenger car in the country.
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