Japan e-tricycle maker targets 6,000 units; makes the Philippines its hub
BEMAC Uzushio Electric Co. Ltd, a Japan-based electrical equipment supplier, is making the Philippines its manufacturing hub in the Asean region for its locally manufactured electric tricycle.
The company, through its local unit Bemac Electric Transportation Philippines, said it already invested in an assembly facility in Carmona, Cavite in 2013, making it the first electric vehicle maker in the country with a full assembly line.
The Japanese firm launched the Bemac 68VM Electric Vehicle, an e-tricycle, on Tuesday. It has partnered with local bus and truck manufacturer Almazora Motors Philippines for the assembly of the vehicle and has invested an accumulated P500 million since it began local operations in 2013.
The 68VM is priced at P450,000 inclusive of value-added tax and is over 60 percent locally sourced.
"Our sales target for the year is 3,000 [units] to 6,000 units and the year after that 10,000 units. This is in line with our plan to make the Philippines our home base or the hub in the Asean region. Preparations are in place to achieve this," Yvonne Palomar Castro, assistant vice president for Bemac Philippines, said.
Initial preparations, according to Castro, entail scouring other markets in the Asean to export the electric vehicle from the Philippines.
Castro said they hope to deliver the first order by 2016 after the marketing studies in the Asean are done. She also said Malaysia, Thailand and possibly India are likely candidates as export markets.
Masato Oda, president of Bemac, said the long-haul view is to make the Philippines their regional hub. But for now, the domestic market and not the larger regional market is the focus of the company.
"The focus of the company is really to cater to the domestic market now. If in the future other countries become interested and we go over the capacity, that's the time that we put in more investments in the Philippines or in other countries," Oda said.
The Bemac Cavite plant has a maximum annual production capacity of 12,000 units, according to Oda.
The company looks to the domestic mass public transport sector to fuel its growth and has started engaging mass-transport operators, as well as local government units as possible clients. It is also aims to pursue programs with future clients to train personnel on managing and maintaining the electric vehicles.
The company's future plans include introducing an e-jeepney as early as 2016. Bemac Uzushio Electric Co. Ltd is a top supplier of electrical products for shipping lines and factories, with presence in China, Vietnam, Singapore employing 1,500 workers.
Catherine Pillas | BusinessMirror