Another automaker has decided to stop local production in the Philippines.

Nissan Philippines Inc (NPI), along with its vehicle assembly partner, Univation Motor Philippines (UMPI), has decided to cease production of the Almera in the country. Effective March 2021, plant operations for the Nissan Almera in the Santa Rosa plant in Laguna will halt.

This decision comes after the expiration of the assembly contract between NPI and UMPI. In a press statement, it is aligned with Nissan's plans towards optimized production and efficient business operations in the ASEAN region.

Under the company's transformation plan, Nissan will make a 20% reduction in production capacity worldwide. Nissan is already in the process of doing this by reducing the number of manufacturing facilities worldwide. These include factories in Indonesia, as well as in the Philippines.

Nissan shuts down local production of Almera in PH image

Besides cutting production, Nissan also wants to reduce costs, particularly in general and administrative matters. The automaker aims to cut costs by 15%. To be more competitive, Nissan also said that they are launching 13 new models worldwide, some of which already revealed such as the refreshed Terra and Navara, Ariya, Armada, Kicks, and Magnite.

Nissan's decision to stop building the Almera in the country is another blow to the country's automotive production. Just last year, Honda Cars Philippines Inc (HCPI) stopped local production of the BR-V and City in Sta. Rosa. Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC), meanwhile, halted complete knockdown manufacturing (CKD) of the D-Max in favor of importing directly from Thailand due to high overhead costs, and economies of scale versus Thailand.

Despite Nissan deciding to stop making the Almera in the country, UMPI will remain active in the Philippines and continue its other business operations. Nissan is coordinating with UMPI to ensure a smooth transition as they remain committed to their investments in the Philippines.

With the Almera set to cease local production this March, does this mean the next-generation model will be sourced from Thailand instead? Watch this space.