The city of Sta. Rosa in Laguna has a number of features that make it easily memorable. Since the 1990s it is known as the home of Enchanted Kingdom, the Philippines’ foremost homegrown theme park. But before that it was a center of industry, with assembly plants from major international automakers and manufacturing centers for food and beverage products like Coca-Cola. The former include recognizable names in Honda, Nissan and Toyota. That changed dramatically early last year when Honda Philippines decided to shut down its Sta. Rosa plant. And barely a year after that, Nissan Philippines will be following suit.
According to Inquirer.net, Nissan Philippines Inc. has dropped another bombshell dread by autoworkers based in Sta. Rosa, Laguna when they announced that their assembly plant in the city will be ceasing operations this coming March. They have communicated with Secretary Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) this past Wednesday, January 20, about their decision to close down their plant. So far, one primary reason for shutting down at Sta. Rosa was that Nissan Philippines’ contract with Univation Motor Philippines Inc. (UMPI), their local vehicle assembly partner, has officially run its course.
Having opened its doors in Laguna back in 1997, Nissan Philippines has enjoyed a position as one of the top Japanese car brands in the country alongside Toyota and Mitsubishi. However, they along with all other automakers with plants in the locality have been hit hard by a gradual decrease in sales. Furthermore, Nissan’s Almera Sedan has a lower market share according to the DTI, further justifying the company’s decision to begin cutting losses even as the national economy remains clipped by the COVID pandemic. About 133 factory workers will be laid off by Nissan due to their plant closure, but the DTI on Thursday, January 21, assured their compensation packages and next employment relocation.
The shutdown of automaker plants in Sta. Rosa started in 2012 with Ford Motors. Honda Philippines followed in March 2020, while in the neighboring municipality of Biñan, Isuzu has called it quits with their plant in 2019. UMPI meanwhile will continue to partner with other automakers still in the area.
Image courtesy of Zigwheels