Yamaha Targets the Philippines

Japan's Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. last week started construction in the Philippines on a new factory at which to build 105cc to 135cc motorcycles.

The 473,000 square-foot facility will be on a 57-acre lot about 50 miles south of Manila. Manufacturing operations are scheduled to begin in January 2009 with a starting production capacity of 150,000 units annually and an initial workforce of approximately 270.

The factory will be operated by Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc. (YMPH), a manufacturing and sales subsidiary Yamaha Motor established in May 2007. Yamaha Motor is investing $246 million for the project.

Yamaha Motors' new three-year medium-term management plan covering the period from 2008 to 2010 calls for a "further growth in sales and profitability in the ASEAN region" as part of the company's business strategy, and the company says construction of the new factory in the Philippines is one of the initiatives of this plan.

In the Philippines, one out of every 40 citizens owns a motorized two-wheeler and demand for motorcycles is growing year by year. In 2007, motorcycle demand grew 13% year-on-year to 700,000 units. Yamaha expects demand to reach a level of approximately one million units annually by 2010.