The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. or CAMPI recently affirmed the continued support and active participation from its 12 member companies towards the development of a progressive local automotive industry.

CAMPI announced the new sets of officers for this year who will lead the association towards this objective. In the recent election of CAMPI member companies, Atty. Rommel Gutierrez of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation was voted as CAMPI President, while Mr. Dante Santos of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines and Mr. Valentino de Leon of Nissan Motor Philippines were elected as Vice President and Treasurer respectively. Mr. Jose Pepito Alvarez, who assumed the leadership post left vacant by its previous president Ms. Elizabeth Lee, was elected as CAMPI Chairman Emeritus.

CAMPI also mentioned that it will search for the replacements of former Secretary General Homer Maranan and Executive Manager Dr. Cecille Santiago who left last month, in order to oversee the organization’s daily undertakings.

CAMPI President Atty. Rommel Gutierrez said that “CAMPI will continue to work closely with the government particularly the Board of Investments under the Department of Trade and Industry, and other industry associations under the Philippines Automotive Federation, Inc. (PAFI) such as Philippine Automotive Competitiveness Council Incorporated or PACCI and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) in re-crafting the new Motor Vehicle Development Program or MVDP.

The proposal of CAMPI will also take off from the roadmap which was drafted by Philippine Automotive Federation Inc. or PAFI. CAMPI showed its support in the recently concluded 3rd PACCI Summit which identified opportunities for market expansion and also highlighted the importance of enhancing the competitiveness of the local auto manufacturing sector to be able to entice auto manufacturers to provide additional investments in the country.

The immediate concern of the local automotive sector is to capture a sizeable share of the ASEAN when it is consolidated in a single market in 2015 and as an alternative ASEAN production hub on the manufacture of motor vehicles and auto parts. Currently ASEAN economies are in the process of harmonizing vehicle standards and establishing Mutual Recognition Arrangement to achieve free flow of goods in the single market.

This roadmap, when finalized, will be formally presented to BOI outlining the steps to be taken to expand the domestic production and sales of motor vehicles and eventually lead to export of completely built up units and parts and components by increasing competitiveness by reducing cost through government's timely policy support.

Meantime, CAMPI is also optimistic that total demand for brand new vehicles will further increase this year given the improvement of supply and also relying on improved spending for both the government and private sectors. With this CAMPI members are forecasting growth of the auto industry to be around 6 to 9 percent this year or 175,000 to 180,000 units.

Currently regular CAMPI members include Asian Carmakers Corp. (BMW), Columbian Autocar Corp. (KIA), Columbian Manufacturing Corp. (Daewoo Buses), Honda Cars Philippines Inc., Isuzu Philippines Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., Nissan Motor Philippines Inc., Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., Universal Motor Corporation (Nissan light commercial vehicles). Associate members are CATS Motors (Mercedes Benz & Chrysler), PGA Cars Inc. (Audi, Porsche & Lamborghini) and Suzuki Motor Philippines.