THE Chinese automobile brand, Chery, is strengthening its customer support service with the scheduled opening of its assembly plant in Laguna Province in Luzon.
Si Chung Chang, Chery Motors Philippines Inc. chief executive officer, said that opening of the plant would help bring their car prices down and ensure the best after sales service to their buyers to compete with already established brands like Toyota.
Chang also noted an increase in the sales of Chery cars in the country since the sudden drop of sales growth in 2008 and 2009.
Chery Motors Philippines Inc. distributes Chery cars nationwide under their mother company Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. based in China.
“We started here in 2007 and we had a good start. We however dropped in 2008 and 2009 due to service issues as we lack spare parts and authorized service centers in the country. We are doing something to correct all this and expand our market share in the country,” Chang said.
Since last year and early this year, sales figures has been growing according to Chang which they attributed to their available supply of spare parts now and authorized service centers that offers after sales services to their buyers.
“We have also slowly expanded our dealers network which has also dropped in 2008. There were only about seven to eight dealers left and now we have about 14 dealers. So we’re slowly coming back,” he said.
Chang said the firm was targeting to sell 600 units this year in the country.
They had already sold 150 units since the start of the year.
“Since September of last year until May this year, we have been steadily growing on an average of 25 percent every month. In China, we are among the fastest growing automobile company growing by 50 percent every year and we hope to also achieve that here,” he said.
Their plan on opening an assembly plant in August this year is also geared towards making their car models more accessible to their target buyers in terms of competitive pricing.
“At present, we pay 50% of the car prices for duties which is very high and we want to address this through partnering first with an existing local assembly plant in Laguna and then later on build our own.”
Chang said that the assembly plant is targeting to produce around 50 units every month for the first few months of operation and eventually grow the numbers to 1,000 units every month that will now cater to their markets in the western part of Southeast Asian region like Cambodia and Vietnam aside from the Philippines.
“If we are to build our own assembly plant around two to three years from now, we will need an investment of about $20 million and we are targeting to do that.”
Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. has 12 assembly plants in the world servicing the different regional markets.
With the projected potential in the Philippines as well as the availability of a good workforce in the country, Chang said the company was optimistic of setting up another assembly plant in the country.