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Guhring Philippines Discusses Metal-Cutting Tool Landscape And Outlook

Guhring Philippines Discusses Metal-Cutting Tool Landscape And Outlook

Dale Andrew Reyes, president of Guhring Philippines Inc., talked about mould manufacturing challenges, opportunities and trends in the country, as well as his outlook for the rest of the year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Dale Andrew Reyes

Guhring Philippines Inc. (GPI) is a subsidiary of Gühring KG, one of the leading manufacturers of rotating precision tools for metal cutting. Established in 2009, GPI was initially a representative office, supporting local distributors through technical services. Due to the growing demand for Gühring tools in the Philippine market, the subsidiary was formed in September 2014 to directly support and cater the demands of its customers.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Dale Andrew Reyes, president of GPI, discussed mould manufacturing challenges, how they are helping their customers address these issue, and the opportunities they are seeing in the country. He also described the state of metalworking industry in the country, as well as provided his outlook for the rest of the year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Dale Andrew Reyes (DR): The most common we have seen is the efficiency. Some mould manufacturers are still used to old machining parameters without realizing that the machines and tools have evolved through the years. Machines nowadays have higher power output, can run at faster speeds, and have better accuracy. Cutting tools have also evolved in terms of material grade, geometry, and even coating. A lot of mould makers are not maximizing the capabilities of their machines and are still using low grade cutting tools which results to poor output.


DR: We at Guhring apply a more holistic approach in tackling this issue. We not only recommend the speeds and feeds of the tools, we also advise the customer on what possible changes they can do to improve the overall process. This will result in savings for the part of the customer. Savings in terms of tooling cost—tool life improvement, replacing multiple tools with one special tool—and in terms of process cost—faster cycle times, elimination of unnecessary processes.


DR: The demand for metal cutting tools has risen dramatically in recent years due to the increasing adoption of precision, digital services, and software. The rising popularity of the manufacturing industry has made a positive impact on the growth of the market. However, the impact of the recent crisis on COVID-19 has greatly affected the anticipated exponential growth. Now, we are seeing opportunities on a smaller scale machining industries, hardware, and machine shops with a higher potential to adapt with the new normal as the bigger manufacturing industries are struggling to catch up with the economic losses.


DR: Currently, the state of metalworking industry in the Philippines is adjusting to the latest manufacturing technologies. Companies are willing to invest, learn and adapt in order to compete and become more cost-efficient in their production. We realize most of our customers value the advance processes and tools we are offering them. Together with the training and support we provide, and their willingness to adapt to positive changes, we believe our customers will soon be able to match global levels.

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Ahead Of COVID-19: Automotive On Slow Recovery

Ahead Of COVID-19: Automotive On Slow Recovery

Countries around the world are bracing for a possible, looming “second wave” of infections. However, the damage to the automotive industry has already been done. 

As one of the hardest hit sectors, the world’s light vehicle market is forecasted to decline by 17 percent to 73 million units in 2020, due to its impact and its associated economic fallout, according to GlobalData. This is a bigger one-off shock than witnessed in the two years of the global financial crisis. In fact, the damage has been the most acute in the second quarter of this year, when strict lockdown measures were in place across the world.

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In Indonesia, car sales fell by 46 percent annually in the first half to just 260,933 units, according to Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo) data compiled by Astra, as reported by The Jakarta Post.

Sales for the first half of the year in Thailand were down by 37.3 percent to 328,604 units, according to MarkLines Data Center. In particular, vehicle sales in June declined by 32.6 percent year-on-year to 58,013 units, marking its 13th month of successive declines. Production during the first half of the year was down by 43.1 percent to 606,132 units, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). 

Here, we continue to bring you the latest coverage in ASEAN’s automotive industry amid COVID-19: 


  • Energy Absolute (EA) will be unable to deliver 5,000 electric vehicles (EV) to clients this year, causing it to revise its revenue outlook from THB20 billion set before the outbreak to THB15 billion, according to a report from Bangkok Post.
  • By brand sales in June (data by MarkLines Data Center):
    • Isuzu was up by 26.1 percent to 16,661 units. For January to June, Isuzu reports sales of 76,054 units, down by 15 percent YoY. 
    • Toyota was down by 53.8 percent to 13,345 units
    • Honda was down by 52.1 percent to 5,822 units.
    • Mitsubishi sales were down 45.7 percent to 4,002 units
    • Nissan sales were down by 35.5 percent to 3,523 units.
    • The FTI announced that new vehicle production in June was 71,704 units, down by 58.5 percent YoY, but around 28 percent higher than the previous month as most car makers have restarted operations at their manufacturing plants. For 2020, FTI expects total vehicle production to reach 1.4 million units in 2020.
    • Sales of eco-cars in Thailand witnessed over 40 percent drop in the first half of 2020 to 69,816 units, MarkLines citing an article from Prachachat Turakij.
    • Starting August, Mazda Motor Corp. will return operations to normal or to pre-production adjustment levels. Overtime hours and work on holidays will resume for all plants. The car maker plans to continue normal operations from September onwards.
    • According to Bangkok Post, Germany-based MAN Truck and Bus Thailand remains optimistic about its future business in Thailand. Despite the ongoing pandemic, MAN maintains plans to expand its market in Thailand as it still sees the country—located geographically in the center of ASEAN—as a market with potential for its business expansion.
    • Suzuki Motor Thailand has sold 11,089 automobile units in the first half of 2020, down by 9 percent YoY.
    • The Thailand Energy Business Department said the enforcement of Euro 5 emissions standards will be postponed from 2024 after lockdown measures halted upgrade plans at six refineries. The upgrade requires technical help from overseas experts who are unable to visit Thailand because of travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic. According to Bangkok Post, the government is considering delaying a plan to make E20 the fundamental petrol at all stations because of the crisis.
    • China-based tire maker Linglong International Tire (LLIT) aims to boost its production capacity in Thailand in 2020, according to MarkLines, citing a Prachachat Turakij report.
    • Vroom Thailand, importer and distributor of Indian and European motorcycle brands, plans to expand its business by setting up a local factory to produce them in the country by 2023, according to Bangkok Post. The company plans to make Thailand its HQ in the ASEAN region.
    • During the first five months of 2020, only 600,000 motorcycles were sold in Thailand, down by 18 percent from 740,000 year-on-year, Bangkok Post cited Vroom chief executive Hideki Yanagisawa as saying. However, he expects better market sentiment in the second half this year, with full-year sales at 1.4 to 1.5 million units.
    • Thailand’s natural rubber industry is likely to remain depressed this year despite a sharp rise in demand for protective rubber gloves driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Thai Rubber Association, the virus crisis has prompted many automotive factories, notably in the United States and Europe, to shut down or slow their production, resulting in lower rubber tyre demand, Bangkok Post reported.
    • Eastern Polymer Group (EPG), Thailand’s top plastic moulder by capacity, is considering a move into the lucrative healthcare plastics market after suffering sales drops in its automotive products and insulation materials in air conditioners because of the pandemic, according to Bangkok Post.


  • PT Astra International has reported a drop in revenue and net profit in the first half of the year, largely because of the pandemic’s major impacts on the automotive industry and commodity prices, according to The Jakarta Post. Countermeasures against the pandemic implemented in most regions in Indonesia, including the temporary closedown of manufacturing activities and automotive distribution, have impacted the group’s operations substantially.
    • Astra’s car sales fell by 45 percent during the first half of the year to 139,500 units. In the second quarter alone, sales fell 92 percent against the previous quarter. Honda Astra’s motorcycle sales, meanwhile, fell 40 percent to 1.5 million units in the first half and 80 percent quarter-on-quarter.
  • The Trade Ministry expects a boost in the export of some Indonesian products to Australia, including automotive products, electronics, and communication tools, as the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) is now in effect, according to The Jakarta Post.


  • Vietnam Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (VAMM) has reported sales of 518,920 motorcycles in the second quarter, down by 30.8 percent. For the first half of 2020, sales surpassed 1.24 million motorcycles. Among the members—Honda, Piaggio, Suzuki, SYM, and Yamaha—Honda Vietnam now accounts for 80 percent of the motorcycle market share in the Vietnam market, according to a MarkLines report citing
  • Vietnam’s motorcycle market has also entered a period of saturation, being unable to maintain the impressive sales growth rate as in previous years.
  • The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will focus on removing difficulties in industrial sectors in the second half of this year, especially the processing and manufacturing industry, to expand production and business, according to Viet Nam News. It plans to work closely with foreign-invested firms such as Samsung and Toyota and search for local producers to make raw materials and components to replace imports. The ministry has suggested localities develop material production regions, industrial parks and economic zones to ensure they have raw materials for domestic production.


  • The Philippines Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID) said sales of imported vehicles in June nearly tripled to 3,697 units from just 1,239 units in May, according to Philippine Star. Despite the huge improvement month-on-month, vehicle importers still registered a 55 percent YoY drop in sales during the first half of 2020 amid the temporary closure of dealerships during the lockdown imposed by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic. AVID said it remains watchful of factors that may continue to dampen automotive sales in the coming months. These include lower remittances, weaker demand, and the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Following the sales tax exemption announced by the government on 5 June to boost car sales amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Perodua has wrapped up June 2020 with an estimated 21,250 cars sold—its highest monthly sales figure so far this year and nearly triple that of last month. Perodua managed to sell 8,601 cars in March before the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into effect on the 18th day, halting the carmaker’s nationwide operations for two months. Perodua officially restarted nationwide on 19 May, managing to sell 7,886 cars before month-end.

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ASEAN Automotive On The Road To Recovery

ASEAN Automotive On The Road To Recovery

Despite continued softness in the market, the automotive manufacturing market is steadily moving towards recovery. According to Globaldata, although the global light vehicle sales fell 33.8 percent in May compared to a year ago, it showed an improvement from April when sales fell a record low of 47.5 percent. Analysts believe markets will begin the long climb back and we will begin to get more signals on market demand for the rest of the year.

In fact, China will lead the global auto market recovery. With automotive production and supplies resuming and China lifting restrictions on the movement of people and goods since early April, vehicle sales have started to stabilise.

Here, we take a look at the latest developments in the ASEAN automotive market and its road to recovery:


With phase 4 of relaxations, Federation Of Thai Industries (FTI) expects gradual recovery of the automotive market as businesses restart operations.

However, May vehicle production production was down 69.1 percent in May YOY, totalling 56,035 units. They noted that 2020 vehicle sales could be 700,000 units if the outbreak stays under control, or 500,000 units if local infections continue into September. 

Furthermore, 50 percent decline is expected for the auto parts market, but the Auto Parts Industry Club expects gradual recovery of auto parts industry as Thailand enters Phase 4 relaxation

  • AAPICO Hitech (AH) expects losses in its Q2/2020 amid the continuing decline in the local automotive industry from the beginning of the year due to the pandemic, Marklines cited a Thun Hoon report. Among AH’s businesses is the manufacture of OEM automotive parts. The company, according to the report, plans to boost its production capability this year to serve new auto parts products.
  • Mazda has reported sales of 1,602 vehicles in May 2020, down by 60 percent YoY, but up by 58 percent from the previous month. In a statement, Mazda is seeing positive signs that the automotive market is gradually recovering, given increased sales in every segment.
  • Mazda has announced that it will resume two-shift operations at all its plants in Japan in July. Its plants in Thailand and Mexico will be operating on limited days. Mazda expects global production volume in July to increase by 50 percent from June, according to a MarkLines report citing Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun
  • Auto parts maker T. Krungthai Industries Public Ltd (TKT) has over THB500 million ($16.15 million) worth of backlog order in hand, waiting to be delivered to customers, according to MarkLines, citing a Thun Hoon report. TKT expects sales to recover in the second half of 2020.


GAIKINDO, Indonesia’s automotive manufacturers association, reported Indonesia’s total vehicle sales in May 2020 were 3,551 units, down by 95.8 percent YoY due to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the government is encouraging innovation through its Industry 4.0 program which includes the automotive industry and EV industry.

Although sales have experienced a downward trend since the beginning of the year, PT Suzuki Indomobil Sales (SIS) remains optimistic that it can increase its market share this year. From January to April 2020, Suzuki’s market share increased to 11.5 percent, compared to 9.3 percent in the same period last year. (GAIKINDO)


According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA), automobile sales declined 30.6 percent YOY to 19,081 units in May.

Vietnam ratified a free trade agreement with the European Union that will cut or eliminate 99 percent of tariffs on goods traded between the Southeast Asian country and the bloc, and provide Vietnam with a much-needed post pandemic boost, according to Bangkok Post. Vietnam will have a transition period of up to 10 years for some imports, such as cars. With this, insiders predicted the domestic automobile market will prosper in the last six months of the year and domestic automakers have the opportunity to develop as well as compete with imported cars. (VNS)

  • Toyota Vietnam has announced sales of 4,311 units in May 2020, up by 48 percent from April. (Auto Daily)
  • VinFast Production and Trading LLC announced in April that the inauguration and start of production of its automobile manufacturing plant will take place in June 2019 instead of September 2019 as previously planned.


Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) reported new car sales decreased 62.2 percent YoY in May. They expect sales volume for June 2020 to be higher than May as businesses resume after restrictions for economic activities are lifted and sales tax exemption announced by the government.

Furthermore, The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) estimates a 28 percent drop in new car sales in 2020 due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) brought about by COVID-19, and that a minimum 500,000-unit total industry volume is needed in 2020 for automotive businesses’ continued survival.

  • The Malaysian government has agreed to reduce the sales tax for new vehicles for six months until December to revitalise the market, according to a report from New Straits Times.
  • For the 1Q 2020, UMW Holdings Berhad registered a lower revenue as disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led to lower sales in the automotive and equipment businesses.
  • In May 2020, PROTON sold 5,676 vehicles, accounting for an estimated market share of 23.3 percent, but down by 46.5 percent compared to last year. Sales in May, however, was a 73 percent improvement over that of March. For January to May 2020, PROTON’s sales volume declined by 23.3 percent, while the overall industry dropped by 48.7 percent over the same period.
  • Perodua has sold 52,920 vehicles as of the first five months of 2020, giving it a 41 percent market share against an estimated year-to-date total industry volume of 129,401 units.


Operations of both assembly plants and dealerships have resumed with easing of restrictions. The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) reported a 84.6 percent decrease in May car sales YoY. According to Philippine Star, however, May’s production figure of 4,788 units was a vast improvement over the 133 units manufactured in the previous month. Furthermore, CAMPI expects total vehicle sales to drop 20 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic.

  • Auto parts makers have renewed their call to the government to support local parts manufacturing by implementing higher duties on vehicle imports and prevent small and medium parts makers from closing shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Philippine Star report.
  • Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program
    • Government introduced Incentives to encourage investments in vehicle manufacturing, while manufacturers have to manufacture at least 200,000 units of enrolled vehicle model within six years
    • According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), volume of vehicles required to be produced will remain unchanged even if automakers are unable to reach the target

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ASEAN Aerospace And MRO Industry In The Wake Of COVID-19

ASEAN Aerospace And MRO Industry In The Wake Of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has an unprecedented adverse impact on the aviation industry and, consequently, on the MRO business, without clear visibility on the timing of its recovery, according to Singapore-based SIA Engineering Co. Ltd. Border controls imposed by countries worldwide and the precipitous decline in travel demand has forced drastic cuts in flight capacities and grounding of aircraft.

In response to the worsening crisis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is projecting a more realistic U-shaped recovery for the air travel industry, with domestic travel coming back faster than the international market. 

Many expect that because of the impact of the pandemic, activity in the commercial aerospace market will take several years to return to the levels seen just a few months ago. Some players in the aerospace manufacturing industry, including Boeing and Rolls-Royce, have even announced workforce reduction and production cuts.

However, Boeing is seeing some green shoots. Some customers are reporting that reservations are outpacing cancellations on their flights for the first time since the pandemic started, while some countries and U.S. states are starting cautiously to open their economies again.

  • Boeing, in fact, has resumed production of the 737 MAX at the company’s Renton, Washington factory.
  • On 14 April 2020, IATA released an updated analysis showing that the COVID-19 crisis will see global airline passenger revenues drop by US$314 billion in 2020, a 55 percent decline compared to 2019. Airlines in Asia Pacific will see the largest revenue drop of US$113 billion in 2020 compared to 2019 (-US$88 billion in 24 March estimate), and a 50 percent fall in passenger demand in 2020 compared to 2019 (-37 percent in 24 March estimate).

According to Oliver Wyman:

  • As of late April, over 65 percent of the pre-COVID fleet of 27,500 commercial aircraft have been parked
  • The current trajectory for fleet reductions and lower aircraft utilisation would reduce global MRO demand in 2020 by over $48 billion, or 53 percent

Here’s an update of what has been happening in ASEAN’s aerospace and MRO industry amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Indonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia, has resumed domestic flights starting May 7, 2020.
  • PT Garuda Maintenance Facilities (GMF) AeroAsia expects to see increasing demand for MRO services from non-affiliated international airlines and has projected an 80 percent y-o-y increase for MRO services, from 71 percent in 2019


  • AirAsia is set to gradually resume services in the Philippines on June 5, 2020, following the Philippine government’s directive of easing community quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and several parts of the country. The resumption of services will initially be for key domestic routes, and will gradually increase to include international destinations by July 1.
  • Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP), comprising: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines, sees the industry shrinking in the next two years. The association has requested government assistance, including waiver of airport charges and credit guarantees
  • Infrastructure projects still ongoing: Lufthansa Technik and Metrojet Engineering


  • Airbus withdraws from MRO joint venture with Thai Airways
  • Thai Airways has filed for bankruptcy protection to rehabilitate business (to restructure under the supervision of the local bankruptcy court). Will not resume its international flight operations until 30 June.
  • The proposed MRO project at the U-Tapao Airport will proceed as planned despite Thai Airways International (THAI) entering bankruptcy. The THB11 billion project has already been approved by the Cabinet and a contract is expected to be signed in June. (The Nation Thailand)


85 percent of the Singapore industry is involved in maintaining and repairing aircraft. Singapore also plays a small but critical role in the global aerospace supply chain, with its SMEs having a key role in MRO and manufacturing—supporting special processes, tooling, testing, logistics, manpower, and other services. (Association of Aerospace Industries Singapore)

  • SIA has announced that it will resume flights to 27 destinations and increase no. flights for other services in June & July
  • Government has set aside S$750 million of support for the aviation sector and consolidation is expected to happen over the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Collins Aerospace, which just opened a 10,000 sq ft innovation hub in Singapore, is “monitoring the evolving market conditions very closely”. 
  • Rolls-Royce has scaled down its operations in its facility which tests Trent aero engines (Channel News Asia)
  • ST Engineering 
    • expects a slowdown in its aerospace unit due to deferred MRO services and lowered original equipment production rates 
    • however, the company has secured about $838 million across its spectrum of aviation manufacturing and MRO businesses
      • The MRO contracts included A320 heavy maintenance contracts and CFM56-7B engine maintenance contracts from Chinese airlines, and a component Maintenance-By-the-Hour (MBHTM) contract from a Southeast Asian airline to provide comprehensive component maintenance services for its entire fleet of Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400. 
    • The Group is discussing with its customers to adjust delivery schedules or address order cancellations due to the evolving crisis. As at the end of 1Q, the Group’s order book remains robust.
  • BOC Aviation, a company involved in aircraft sales and leasing has extended its Engine MRO contract with Lufthansa Technik for another five years.
  • Through the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), companies such as ST Engineering and SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) will receive millions in additional wage support to cushion the devastating blow that COVID-19 has dealt the aerospace industry. (The Business Times)


  • Suspended all international and most domestic flights in March and April in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, domestic flights have resumed since April 22, after the government lifted a lockdown order, while international flights are expected to partially resume from June 1.
  • Will not consider applications for new airlines as it looks to prioritise the recovery of its aviation sector after the impact of the novel coronavirus, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV). (Bangkok Post)


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COVID-19 Updates: Auto Makers Revving Up Production To Drive Market Recovery

COVID-19 Updates: Auto Makers Revving Up Production To Drive Market Recovery

In the wake of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global light vehicle sales in 2020 are now forecast to drop to 69.6 million units, 22 percent lower than in 2019, with risks to the forecast still skewed to the downside, according to IHS Markit.

In Southeast Asia, sales of new vehicles in the region’s six largest markets combined are estimated to have declined by over 19 percent to 700,528 units in the first quarter of 2020, according to GlobalData. Thailand saw first quarter sales down 24 percent as its economy reeled under the impact of much-reduced travel and tourism. Malaysia Q1 vehicle sales were down by 26 percent and Vietnam saw a slump of almost 32 percent.

Although 2020 is seeing a setback for the automotive sector in ASEAN markets, long-term prospects for the region remain very strong. GlobalData’s analysis points to strong indicators for long-term demand as motorisation rates rise with high economic growth—especially in Indonesia with its increasingly transportation hungry population of 273 million. Its market of around one million new vehicles a year is forecast to double to two million vehicles a year by the end of this decade.

In addition to strong long-term market prospects, the automotive manufacturing industry in the region benefits from relatively low costs, favourable government policies for investment, as well as free trading regimes for vehicles and components, according to GlobalData.

Here’s a roundup of the latest activities being done by automakers, parts manufacturers, and government units in ASEAN to drive the industry’s market recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • According to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) automotive club, Thailand’s automotive production is likely to plunge 37 percent to 1.33 million units this year and could drop even further to 50 percent (to one million units) if the pandemic lasts till June.
    • Proposed measures to boost demand includes: a car trade-in scheme, 50 percent excise tax reduction until the end of the year and a delay in enforcement of Euro 5 emission standards
  • According to MarkLines Data Center, April vehicle sales in Thailand declined by 65 percent YoY to 30,109 units
  • Japan’s Isuzu Motors Ltd forecasts that demand for pickup trucks and other light commercial vehicles in Thailand is likely to fall 35 percent this year
  • Nissan Thailand has resumed production in its first Thai plant as well as plant 2 (on 1st June)
  • Mercedez-Benz Thailand plans to postpone the launch of the EQC BEV in Thailand to 2021 amid the coronavirus crisis, according to MarketLines, quoting a report from (Thansettakij)
  • Summit Auto Body Industry Co. Ltd (SAB) will continue with its project despite the pandemic, investing THB810 million—mostly for its plant expansion and purchase of new machines. SAB initially targeted THB8.8 billion for its 2020 revenue; but because of COVID-19, it revised down its forecast by 50 percent. (Prachachat Turakij)
  • TAPMA (Thai Auto Parts Manufacturers Association) expects exports of Thailand’s auto parts to drop in the second quarter of 2020 (2Q 2020) following the temporary suspension of car manufacturing plants both in Thailand and overseas amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, recovery is expected in Q3 as plants are reopening (Marklines).


  • Gaikindo, Indonesia’s automotive manufacturers association, have reported that Indonesia’s total vehicle sales in April 2020 were 7,871 units, down by 90.7 percent YoY due to the coronavirus, according to MarkLines. January-April sales were down by 28 percent to 244,762 units.
    • In terms of automaker sales in April, Toyota was down by 90.3percent YoY to 2,056 units (26.1 percent market share); Daihatsu was down 91.8 percent to 1,330 units (16.9 percent market share); Honda was down 89.8 percent to 1,183 units (15 percent market share); Suzuki was down 86.4 percent to 1,042 units (13.2 percent market share); and Mitsubishi was down by 89.7 percent to 808 units (10.3 percent market share).
  • The Indonesia Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs has announced incentives in the form of stimulus, amounting to IDR 70 trillion, for the automotive industry players to minimise the impact of COVID-19.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMIN) is set to resume operations this month after it suspended manufacturing operations from May 1 to June 1, 2020.
  • PT Toyota Astra Motor also announced to restart production around the same time, according to VietnamPlus.
  • PT Astra International: Its automotive sales drop by 91.2 percent year-on-year (yoy) in April to 3,807 units, according to data from the Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo).
  • Suzuki Indonesia: Gradually resumed operating the plant starting on May 26, 2020. Before this, Suzuki Indonesia had temporarily suspended factory operations from April 13 to May 22, 2020.


  • According to a report from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA), the automotive market suffered a decline of 36 percent over the first four months and only 11,761 units were registered in April 2020
    • Sales of passenger cars decreased by 40 percent, commercial vehicles by 26 percent and specialised vehicles by 16 percent, compared to the previous month.
  • On May 20, the government approved a plan to reduce auto registration fees by 50 percent until the end of the year which could help domestic enterprises recover and stimulate car consumption for domestically-made cars over imports


  • Malaysian Automotive Association: Malaysia recorded just 141 sales of new automobiles in April, down 99.7 percent compared to the same period in 2019 (49,939 units)
    • Estimates point to a plunge to 400,000 this year. Sales for the first four months of the year declined 45 percent to 106,600 autos.


  • The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) expects vehicle sales to decline by at least 20 percent in 2020 amid the COVID-19 lockdown. Earlier, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID) expects total vehicle sales to decline by 40 percent. Total automotive sales covering vehicles sold by both CAMPI and AVID reached more than 410,000 units last year.
    • Toyota Motor Corp. restarted production in the Philippines, Pakistan, and Russia, on May 22. Toyota’s vehicle plant in the Philippines, which produces models such as Vios, resumed operations on a single shift on May 18. The six overseas plants where Toyota has not resumed plant operations yet include Indonesia, Brazil, India, Venezuela, Portugal, and Czech Republic.


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DOST Metals Industry Research And Development Center Is Mass Producing 5000 Face Shields Daily

DOST Metals Industry Research and Development Center Is Mass Producing 5000 Face Shields Daily

The Department of Science and Technology – Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) is ramping up production of medical face shields to meet the Philippines’ demands for personal protective equipment (PPEs) for the frontline workers battling COVID-19.

Through its Additive Manufacturing Center, DOST-MIRDC was initially producing 50 3D printing face shields a day. To ramp up its production, DOST-MIRDC has fabricated a plastic injection mould at the Die and Mould Solution Center in its Bicutan, Taguig City compound. Using plastic injection technology, it has boosted its production capabilities to 2,500 face shields a day.

READ: The AMable Project Promotes Flexible AM Solutions To Fight The Coronavirus

Furthermore, DOST-MIRDC has partnered with Omnifab, which fabricated another injection mould, and Megasamsotite Plant in San Pedro, Laguna which serves as another site for mass production—totalling production of another 2,500 face shields daily.

“With the mass production of the medical face shields being done simultaneously in Laguna and in Taguig, we can assure the enhanced protection of our frontliners,” said Engr. Fred P. Liza, Chief of the Materials and Process Research Division, and Project Leader of the DOST-MIRDC’s Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen).

READ: Automotive Manufacturing Developments In Southeast Asia Amid COVID-19

In addition, the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), another DOST R&D institute has 3D printed 100 face shields for Philippine Heat Center.

“As we make change happen through research and development, we find ways in helping out our new heroes facing COVID-19. We shall continue to look for better means to support our frontliners through research and development,” said Rowena Guevara, DOST undersecretary for R&D.

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Automotive Manufacturing Developments In Southeast Asia Amid COVID-19

Automotive Manufacturing Developments In Southeast Asia Amid COVID-19

Amid the global economic slowdown in 2019, and the current COVID-19 pandemic, global vehicle sales forecast 2.5 percent fall in 2020 instead of the previously predicted 0.9 percent drop compared to 2019 (Moody’s Investor Service).

Here’s a roundup of the latest developments happening in the automotive manufacturing industry in Southeast Asia.


  • Thailand’s 2025 Automotive Roadmap: The Government has drawn a plan to transform Thailand into a regional hub for electric vehicles by 2025
  • Auto parts sector will continue shrinking as car factories close or cut production and global purchasing power weakens. (Federation of Thai Industries)
  • Toyota Motor Thailand
    • Predicts that sale of domestic vehicles will drop 6.7 percent to 940,000 units in 2020
    • Extending of closure: Temporary suspensions of Thailand production operation in Samrong, Ban Pho, and Gateway facilities will continue until the end of April
  • Honda Automobile Thailand announced the suspension of completely built-up (CBU) operations in its vehicle production plants in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya and Prachinburi provinces from March 27 until April 30.
  • Mitsubishi Motors
    • Halted production at three automobile and engine plants in Chonburi province temporarily from April 1.
    • BOI has approved Mitsubishi’s 5.48 billion baht ($167 million) electric and hybrid vehicle production plan project to renovate existing production lines at a plant in Laem Chabang Industrial Estate
  • Auto Alliance Thailand which makes vehicles for Ford and Mazda, and Ford Thailand Manufacturing has also announced they will be shuttering the factory for the time being.


  • Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade has forecast that most automakers will experience partial shortages during this time of crisis and sourcing from other markets would be difficult due to familiarity of technical standards of Chinese parts
  • Vietnam’s industrial production growth could drop 2.3 percent due to reduced imports of parts from China (VinaCapital)
  • According to Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), sales of members decreased 26 percent to 31,908 in end of February due to the impact of Covid19.
  • Vietnamese government has issued several incentives in the form of tax breaks, delayed tax payments, and land-use fees for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Vingroup:
    • Produce (invasive and non-invasive) ventilators of all types and body thermometers to the domestic market.
    • With the capacity of VinFast and VinSmart factories, the group can produce up to 45,000 non-invasive ventilators and 10,000 invasive ventilators per month
    • VinFast have decided to temporarily cease their operations, starting on April 5
  • Toyota Motor Vietnam, Ford, Honda Vietnam, Nissan Vietnam and TC Motor has temporarily ceased vehicle productions.


  • Fitch Solutions forecasted the country’s automotive industry to grow by 0.4 percent this year to 371,345 units, lower from its previous projection of 7.4 percent, due to negative impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • According to figures collected by the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID), sales across all segments—passenger cars, light commercial vehicles (LCV), and commercial vehicles—are down by 31 percent in January 2020 compared to the prior year. Overall, vehicle sales have fallen by 16.2 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
  • The Covid-19 crisis has delayed the rollout of the government’s Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernisation Program, which aims to replace aging PUVs with more environmentally friendly Euro 4-compliant light commercial vehicles.
  • Honda Cars Philippines Inc. has shut down its production plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna province. But, automobile sales and after-sales services will continue through Honda’s regional network.
  • Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its five dealers to roll out a next-generation Showroom, DENDO DRIVE STATION which features solar power system and vehicle to home (V2H) equipment.


  • Malaysia has more than 20 manufacturing and assembly plants that produce passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as two-wheelers.
  • National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2020: incorporates three new advanced technology elements—Next Generation Vehicle, Mobility as a Service and Industry Revolution 4.0 and focuses on three strategies—for value chain development, human capital development as well as safety, environment and consumerism.
  • The following are the biggest beneficiaries of the NAP:
    • Perodua has purchased a total of RM43.5 billion worth of components from local suppliers, including RM5.4 billion in 2019, and targeted to spend RM6 billion for 2020.
    • UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd’s Bukit Raja plant is equipped with automation, skilled manpower and the capacity to align with the government’s vision, with further investment to introduce more completely-knocked-down hybrid cars in the future.
  • Car sales have come to a stop since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed by the government on March 18 and vehicle sales are expected to plummet in March and April. The automotive industry has been grounded to a halt with “nothing really moving”, according to Datuk Aishah Ahmad, Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president
  • Car production plants and after-sales services have also been shuttered during the 28-day MCO.
  • Total industry volume (TIV), which covers the sales of passenger and commercial vehicles, fell 5.3 percent or 2,249 units to 40,403 in February against the previous month due to delays in new model launches and the negative impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on consumers’ sentiments.
  • Sales volume for March 2020 is expected to be lower than February 2020 following restrictions due to the MCO, according to MAA.
  • The country is also bracing for a possible recession and dented consumer sentiments.


  • Covid-19 is pushing Indonesia’s automotive total industry volume in 2020 to 2008 levels (Globaldata)
    • According to Indonesian Automotive Industry Association (GAIKINDO), domestic vehicle sales volume in March 2020 declined by 20 percent as compared to February 2020: revised 2020 vehicle sales projection to 600,000 units
  • Honda Prospect Motor (HPM) will suspend car production at its factory in Karawang, West Java for two weeks starting from April 13, 2020
  • Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (HMMI) has pledged to donate 50,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and coveralls, worth Rp 8.2 billion in stages for medical workers.
  • PT Suzuki Indomobil Motor halted its car production in Indonesia for two weeks (April 13 to 24) at three factories in Cakung, East Jakarta, Cikarang in Bekasi and Tambun in West Java, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Toyota Motor temporarily shut down production in Indonesia (from April 13 to 17), while subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co. Ltd suspended work from April 10 to 18.
  • Nissan Motor Corp. will shut down manufacturing operations in Indonesia amid declining vehicle sales in the country.


  • Hyundai Motor Company is establishing a Mobility Global Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICs) to accelerate its innovation efforts and transformation into a smart mobility solution provider. The new 28,000 sqm innovative lab will be located in Singapore’s Jurong Innovation District and is set to be completed in the second half of 2022.


  • Suzuki Motor Corp.recently announced that its subsidiary in Myanmar, Suzuki Thilawa Motor Co. Ltd, will construct a new car plant in Myanmar. Scheduled to start operations from September 2021, the new plant will conduct welding, painting, and assembly of automobiles, and will be located at an industrial park located in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone.
  • Nikkei Asian Review has reported that several Chinese brands such as Soueast Motor and GAC will accelerate local production targets in Myanmar.



We would love to hear from you, our readers. We will use these insights in our series of articles on the impact of COVID-19 in the manufacturing industry.

  1. When do you expect the lockdowns to end in your countries/regions?
  2. What automotive manufacturing challenges are you currently facing?
  3. During this period of lockdowns and regional quarantines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what manufacturing strategies are you planning to implement when we come out of this outbreak?
  4. Do you know of any other developments we might have missed here?

Do drop us a note at [email protected].


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Philippine GDP Growth To Slide In 2020 Due To COVID-19 But Strong Rebound Expected In 2021

Philippine GDP Growth To Slide In 2020 Due To COVID-19 But Strong Rebound Expected in 2021

The Philippines’ economic growth will slow significantly this year before a strong rebound in 2021, with expansionary fiscal and monetary policies partly offsetting slower domestic demand and disruptions in tourism, trade, and manufacturing, according to a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released today.

READ: Developing Asia Growth To Fall In 2020 On COVID-19 Impact

In its annual flagship economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020, ADB projects the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at two percent in 2020 following an “enhanced community quarantine” imposed by the government in March to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. But ADB expects a strong recovery to 6.5 percent GDP growth in 2021, assuming that COVID-19 infections in the country are curbed by June this year.

READ: Vietnam’s Economy To Remain One Of The Fastest Growing In Asia Despite Sharp Slowdown Due to COVID-19

“This unprecedented and extraordinary public health emergency brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic will substantially slow down economic growth this year, with most of the contraction in the economy occurring in the second quarter. We are anticipating a bounce back starting in the second half of this year, supported by the government’s stimulus spending and easier monetary policies,” said ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird.

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Mr. Bird added: “ADB has been working closely with the Philippine government in its fight to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Filipinos. We have provided two grants totalling $8 million to assist the government and we are now in advanced stages of preparing a larger and comprehensive assistance to help alleviate the impacts of the pandemic on communities’ well-being and support fiscal stimulus.”

On 14 March, ADB approved a $3 million grant to help the government deliver much-needed emergency medical supplies and equipment, including a new laboratory to enhance the country’s capacity to conduct more COVID-19 tests. This week, ADB launched a $5 million project to provide critical food supplies for poor families in Metro Manila.

Sustained public investment—especially in priority projects under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) infrastructure development program—and a rebound in private consumption will drive economic growth in 2021, the report says. The economy will also benefit from the government’s large-scale fiscal spending to boost the delivery of relief measures to vulnerable sectors affected by the pandemic.


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Honda Shuts Automobile Production In Philippines

Honda Shuts Automobile Production In Philippines

Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI), Incorporated which produces passenger cars, BR-V, City has announced that it will stop production operations in its plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, effective March, 2020. The automaker has struggled to shore up global automobile operations.

According to Reuters, the automaker has seen a decline in profitability by more than half in the past two years, led by quality-related issues. However, automobile sales and after-sales service operations in Philippines will continue through Honda’s Asia and Oceania regional network.

To meet its customer needs in Philippines for reasonably priced and good quality products, the company has considered efficient allocation and distribution of resources. As such, Honda will focus and optimise efforts in production operations in the Asia and Oceania region.


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Halcyon’s Vargas Talks Trends, Opportunities In Philippine Metalworking Industry

Halcyon’s Vargas Talks Trends, Opportunities in Philippine Metalworking Industry

Franklin Vargas of Halcyon Technology (Philippines) Inc. talks about the opportunities, manufacturing challenges, and markets driving the growth of the metalworking industries in the Philippines. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Franklin Vargas

Halcyon Technology (Philippines) Inc. is a partnership company between a Filipino firm—Philippines First Diamond Metal, led by Hamilcar Azarias—and Thailand-based Halcyon Technology Public Co. Ltd. The company opened its manufacturing facility in the Philippines on January 1, 2011, but the inauguration was on November 11, 2011—that was when full operations started. Located at Laguna Technopark, Halcyon’s Philippine plant was the second manufacturing facility for Thai-based Halcyon Technology.

Initially, the company focused on hard-disk drives (HDD)—almost 98 percent of its products were delivered to the Nidec Group—Nidec Subic, Nidec Philippines, and Nidec Precision. Moving forward, there was a need to address demand from other industries, so the company expanded its customer base to automotive, aerospace, electronics, general machining, and industrial machineries. At present, about 60 percent of the company’s output goes to the HDD industries, while the rest is being distributed to other industries.

Halcyon main product is polycrystalline diamond (PCD) tools, including PCD drills, reamers, endmills, forms, and inserts. Other products include carbide cutting tools. It also offers custom-made solid carbide. The company was given a pioneer status for PCD manufacturing by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). Our machines range from lathe and milling machines (CNC), cylindrical grinder, surface grinder, CNC grinder, 5-axis and 6-axis machines, EDM wire-cut machine, sand blast, and bandsaw machines.

Franklin Vargas is the general manager of Halcyon Technology. He is also the president of the Metro Manila Chapter of the Metalworking Industries Association of the Philippines (MIAP). In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Vargas talks about the opportunities, manufacturing challenges, and markets driving the growth of the metalworking industries in the Philippines. He also discusses the initiatives and programmes of the Metro Manila Chapter of MIAP.


Franklin Vargas (FV): Over the past three to four years, there were a lot of companies that opened their facilities here in the country, including Shimano and Zama. So, last year was a really good year. Our main target is the manufacturers because of our customized solutions.

But this year, there was a decline; it is really a tough year. Our biggest customer, which produces spindle motor for HDD, reduced their orders. But it’s because of technology. Before, every member of the family can have a laptop, and one laptop equals one HDD. Now, there’s only one laptop for whole the family, but there are more smartphones or tablets. So, the culprit is technology. Interestingly, some of the latest smartphones have a camera that slides up and down. These are driven by precision motors—and these products are being produced by one of our customers.

Even though the culprit for the slowdown is technology, I think it is also the one that will help the industry go through this difficult year.


FV: The biggest challenge here is having the relationship with your customers. For us, it is the local companies and manufacturers. We have been battling with big, foreign brands to really prove ourselves, since we are a local company. You know, there’s always this mentality that foreign brands are better. That’s why we have to prove ourselves.

From a manufacturing perspective, the challenge is manpower. For the Filipinos, the mentality is to go overseas for better pay. Sourcing of manpower, for example for CNC machines, we can go anywhere and get a CNC machinist, because almost everybody has CNC machines. But for our products, the problem is finding a skilled person. We have to spend a considerable time for training. That’s our dilemma—coping up with the training period.


FV: It is costing and delivery time. They want to have cheaper products at a faster delivery time. And that is actually an opportunity for us. That is mostly the reason why they shift from other suppliers to us, because our manufacturing is here, and we can provide them their needs immediately. Since we are the manufacturer, there are no middlemen involved, therefore, our costing can be flexible for them.


FV: One of the biggest industries here is HDD. Another thing is automotive, which is steadily growing. Meanwhile, one of the things we are discussing at MIAP is how to help our farmers. One really good industry here is agriculture. But the problem is that farmers do not have the support they need, the mechanization they need. That is actually one of the purposes of MIAP—to help farmers cope up with the international industry. Right now, we are using carabaos (water buffaloes) in farming. In countries such as Vietnam and Thailand, they have a lot of machines.

I think we really need to help the agriculture industry. We have a lot of plans; the only challenge is government support.


FV: I can say that for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), they are still using the conventional systems and tools. I think the problem is the cost of the machine—which can range from around PhP3 million to PhP5 million (US$60,000 to US$100,000). I think that’s one of the main issues.

But we need to level up, and there are some organizations that are helping these SMEs by providing them loans. So far, some of the local companies, our customers, are now using 4-axis, 6-axis machines.


FV: The construction industry is booming, with the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ programme. Metal fabrication will be the one benefitting from this trend. In the manufacturing side, it will be almost the same as this year. Last year, Japan announced they will get out of China because of the US-China trade war.

Based on the feedback of our mother company, the Philippines is one of the countries being considered for manufacturing because our salaries are still lower compared to Thailand. Therefore, it is promising.


FV: MIAP aims to help members to cope up with the trends and developments in the metalworking industry. Right now, the Metro Manila Chapter has more than 70 members—composed of SMEs, traders, and manufacturers. In Manila, our aim is to help the jobbers, backyard machining. In other chapters, for instance in General Santos, Cebu, or Iloilo, their primary goal is the mechanization of the agriculture sector.


FV: My goal is to strengthen the collaboration between members. That is why I am promoting more communication, to be able to better help the members with their current needs.

Through our collaboration with MIRDC (Metal Industry Research and Development Centre), we also have seminars and workshops for the improvement of the workforce. Another contribution from MIAP is to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Since TESDA is the one doing certification, for example in CNC machining and programming, we help them with the structure, how to analyse and grade the different levels of skills for CNC machinists; for instance, NC1, NC2, etc. We contribute to that structure.


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