Foton Philippines inaugurated its PhP 1.2 billion assembly plant located in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

The 11-hectare plant will produce Foton's passenger vehicles, as well as light- and heavy-duty trucks. During the inauguration, a red 4x4 Foton Toplander made a ceremonial roll-off to officially commence the plant's operations.

Foton Toplander roll-off ceremony

Foton's assembly plant is composed of two lots that face each other. The first lot houses the assembly and other production operations, while the second serves as a stockyard.

The company said that plant operations can be completed through its three major facilities, namely Unit Assembly in Building A; a Parts warehouse and Pre-Delivery Inspection in Building B; and Body Fabrication in Building C.

Foton Philippines assembly plant

In its full capacity, Foton claims that the single assembly line could produce a total of 12,000 units per year but, the company already plans to add another assembly line to increase the production of its vans.

With its assembly plant, Foton Philippines president, Rommel Sytin, said that the company plans to export Tornado trucks and Thunder pickups to Laos and Taiwan in the future.

Sytin also said that Foton is eyeing to achieve an annual sales volume of 20,000 units by 2020.

Foton Philippines president Rommel Sytin

Foton's big boss added that the company is expecting to have a total of 35 dealerships nationwide in the next three years. This 2016, Foton's network will expand to 24 as new dealerships will open on Quezon Avenue; Pasong Tamo; Marilao; Santa Rosa, Laguna; Batangas City and Camarines Sur.

Sytin also expressed his vision of establishing a technical training center in Pampanga. He said that Foton is currently working on this idea and is already in talks with TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), Clark Development Corporation and Pampanga government.