Ford Motor plans to invest P1.1 billion (US$20 million) to add a flexible fuel engine plant in the Philippines. The engine plant will be Ford’s first flexible fuel facility in the region. Flexible fuel engines run on gasoline or ethanol blends of up to 85% (E85).
The facility will produce 100,000 engines over the next five years valued at about US$100 million. Start-up activities will be undertaken in the first quarter next year, with full production to begin before the end of 2006.
We expect that this new investment by Ford will take the Philippine automotive industry to its next level of development by establishing its leadership in the Flexible Fuel technology in the region. Flexible Fuel technology is part of Ford’s global vision on innovation, and with this investment Ford intends to build the Philippines as its ASEAN Center of Excellence in Flexible Fuel Technology.—Peter Daniel, President of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa
The Ford Philippines Santa Rosa plant is a regional hub for the manufacture of compact cars and SUVs. Ford Philippines is also one of only four production hubs for the Ford Focus in Asia Pacific, with China, Taiwan and South Africa as the other bases.
Ford is the first and only volume exporter of vehicles from the Philippines. Currently, Ford Philippines exports the Focus and Escape, and the Mazda3 and Tribute to several ASEAN countries—bringing cumulative exports from the start of the program to end 2005 to some 40,000 vehicles valued at approximately US$500 million.
The building of the first Flexible Fuel engine facility in the Philippines is aligned with the Philippine government’s alternative fuel program that seeks to reduce dependence on imported conventional fuel and promote a cleaner environment while potentially spurring agro-industrial investment in the rural areas through the production of ethanol.
The engines from the Philippine plant will be used in the production of Flexible Fuel vehicles (FFVs).
Last week, Ford President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Padilla announced the acceleration of Ford’s second phase of investment at its Ford/Mazda (AAT) manufacturing facility in Thailand. The second phase investment will be made over three years (2005 to 2008) and reflects Thailand’s importance as a major international production hub for Ford’s one-tonne pickup truck.
The US$500-million investment will upgrade and expand plant capacity from its current 155,000 units per year to 200,000 units by 2008.