TMP eyes 3-year extension for CARS program

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) is hoping for a three-year extension of the period given to participants in the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program to meet their vehicle production commitment.

“We are asking for until 2027, three years from the original deadline,” TMP first vice president for corporate affairs Rommel Gutierrez told reporters in an interview.

Under the CARS program, participants need to manufacture at least 200,000 units of their enrolled vehicle model within six years in order to avail of incentives from the government.

TMP has enrolled the Vios sedan as its entry to the CARS program, the deadline of which is in 2024.

The company already hit the 100,000 unit mark in October last year.

“Of course we want to see it (CARS) continue. While it’s a program of the past administration, it’s not yet done. So the participants have invested and we have yet to complete it,”Gutierrez said.

The CARS program aims to attract new investments and develop the country as a regional automotive manufacturing hub.

Under Executive Order 182 issued by then president Benigno Simeon  Aquino III for the CARS program, the government offers fiscal support to participants in exchange for investments for the production of at least 200,000 units of their enrolled vehicle model within six years.

An enrolled model is qualified for a fiscal support amounting to P9 billion.

Apart from TMP, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. has enrolled the Mirage.

TMP has been pushing for an extension of the six-year compliance period for the CARS program as early as 2020, based on previous news reports.

Gutierrez earlier cited the higher excise tax slapped on cars under the government’s tax reform package, which took effect in 2018, the Taal Volcano’s eruption in 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic, as among the factors that have brought challenges to the automotive industry and affected vehicle demand and sales.

Asked if the company has received positive feedback from the Board of Investments on the deadline extension proposal, Guitierrez affirmed, but emphasized that the government is still in the transition period.

“Ever since they’ve been working on that. Of course there’s been a change in administration, there’s a transition,” Guitierrez said.

Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual earlier affirmed his support for the continuation. “I’m pushing for it,” Pascual told reporters earlier.



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