The Department of Trade and Industries (DTI) is trying to grow the Philippine industry by asking various businesses from around the world to invest and do business in the country. In return, they’ll be provided with incentives, including income tax holidays and more. Recently, they’ve been in talks with South Korea, specifically, firms that may be interested in producing EV parts and semiconductors locally.

More investments are good news for our economy. But, there is one part of the DTI’s meeting with the South Korean embassy that was particularly interesting. Industry Development and Trade Policy Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo used Hyundai as an example during the meeting with the embassy.

“Another example – if Hyundai decides to assemble the Hyundai Ioniq in the Philippines and say THN Autoparts or Bolim decides to add another wiring harness facility dedicated to EV, both Hyundai and THN/Bolim will get to enjoy the same incentives as the semiconductor firms. After the ITH period, purchases of Hyundai of wiring harness from THN or Bolim will be allowed an additional 50% deduction from taxable income. And so with power and labor costs, Hyundai can also enjoy 100% additional deduction for training the workers in their factory,” said Rodolfo.

Wait, does this mean Hyundai will produce the Ioniq locally? Well, it’s not confirmed, but it hints at the possibility. If you think about it, Rodolfo could have just mentioned Hyundai to cite an example for the South Korean embassy. However, he also said a specific model, and that is the Ioniq. It could be a coincidence, or it could be an indication of what Hyundai’s plans are.

At the moment, Hyundai produces the Ioniq in two locations, South Korea and Malaysia. For reference, the units sold by Hyundai Philipines are made in South Korea. Because of that, the vehicle isn’t exactly affordable due to excise taxes. By assembling it in the Philippines, they can cut costs and benefit from various incentives from the government. This could make the Ioniq one of the most affordable hybrid vehicles to own locally.

Remember, Hyundai already has an assembly center in the Philippines. The facility initially assembled the Eon and the H350, followed by the Accent in late 2019. Hyundai could then expand the production line to assemble the Ioniq. It wouldn’t be too expensive to do so either with the DTI’s new incentives.

For now, nothing is certain yet. Whether Rodolfo’s statement points at Hyundai’s plans or was it just used as an example, we still don’t know. But, the possibilities are exciting.