Kymco PH eyeing P1 billion manufacturing facility in Batangas

‘There’s no way to go but electric’
by Aris Ilagan | 4 days ago
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

Taiwanese scooter builder Kymco has revealed plans to build a modern scooter manufacturing plant somewhere in Batangas, which will involve huge investments ranging anywhere from $12 million (P650 million) to $18 million (P972 million).

Reports say Kymco Philippines has started conducting a comprehensive feasibility study on this giant undertaking.

Last year, Moto Sapiens witnessed the unveiling of the revolutionary Kymco Ionex electric scooter system in Tokyo. It was considered a game-changer in the global motorcycle industry.

The Ionex introduced a compact and stylish power battery that requires less charging time, yet guarantees a longer riding range. Almost the same size as a portable and lightweight toolbox with a handle, the Ionex battery can be removed from the scooter and carried anywhere.

The Kymco Ionex system also involves the establishment of charging stations in shopping malls, parking areas, bus terminals, restaurants, and other public facilities that give easy access to riders.

Kymco chairman Allen Ko is optimistic that the Ionex system will make its way to the Philippines by 2019. As of now, we can only speculate on Kymco Philippines producing e-scooters in its Batangas plant when this becomes reality.

Meanwhile, while we await the outcome of the study on the proposed assembly plant, Kymco Philippines is determined to push its new products in the local market based on the company’s prediction that the sales for automatic scooters will continue to grow by almost 50%.

"By 2019, the AT segment in the country is seen to have a 40% market share or 700,000 units, and is expected to hit the 1 million mark soon, which is almost a 46% market share. By 2023, we predict that 1.6 million units will be sold, expanding the market share to 48%,” says Kymco Philippines president Frank Yang.

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Kymco recently launched its new model lineup that boasts of European design cues. These include the Like 150i with Noodoe technology (P119,900), Like 150i ABS (P98,800), and the Xciting 300i 4V (P239,000).

According to Yang, the rising demand for motorcycles and scooters particularly in the AT segment is rooted in different yet complementing factors. First, the rosy economic environment contributes to the increasing purchasing power of Filipinos.

“The Philippine economy is growing. The country’s GDP per capita was almost $3,000 last year while the projected GDP growth this year is 6.4%. This will translate to increasing purchasing power of the people, enabling them to afford more expensive motorcycles (that are) yet a more affordable form of transportation,” explains Yang.

Affordable financing schemes and the growing number of female riders contribute to this positive development, he added.

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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