Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) decided to stop its assembly operations in the country which it has been doing for the past seven years as a result of the weak market spawned by the coronavirus disease pandemic.
The last model it produced in the country was the Almera model.
Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said Nissan Philippines president and managing director Atsushi Najima informed the government of its decision in a letter on 20 January 2021 in which Najima cited the group’s global plan to optimize production and make business operations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region efficient in ceasing local assembly of the Almera model.
Najima wrote halting the assembly operations has been contemplated since last year due to weak sales volume and low market share.
The company extended the operations although major sales came from imported pick-ups and sport utility vehicles (SUV).
Nissan was one of the original proponents of the car development program that sought to develop a local car industry. Two other Japanese vehicle makers, Toyota Motors and Mitsubishi Motors, were part of the program.
NPI’s official statement said, effective March 2021, it will cease the production of Almera in its Sta. Rosa Plant, due to the expired deal with assembly partner Univation Motor Philippines Inc. (UMPI).
“The decision is aligned with Nissan’s plan towards optimized production and efficient business operations in the ASEAN as part of the Nissan NEXT transformation plan. We were informed that UMPI will remain active in the Philippines and continue its other business operations in the country. The well-being of employees is the highest priority. Nissan is coordinating with UMPI to ensure a smooth transition,” according to the statement.
NPI pointed out that “it remains committed to its investments in the Philippines and that the company will continue to contribute to the growth of the Philippine automotive industry through its innovative products and excellent services, as well as its dealer expansion nationwide,” the statement read.
NPI is a joint venture formed by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) and longtime partners Universal Motors Corporation and Yulon Philippines Investment Co. Ltd. (Yulon).
“Nissan’s strategy in the Philippines is to keep the customer at the heart of our business, and focus on strengthening the fundamentals of Product, Service, Customer Experience, and People. Our customer-centric approach guides our product and service offerings, as well as