3 years after its groundbreaking ceremony, FOTON Philippines formally commenced its assembly plant located in the Clark Freeport Zone last February 12, 2016.
In FOTON Philippines President Rommel Sytin’s opening remarks, he extended his sincerest gratitude to those who shared the long journey on FOTON’s road to success. “Having been in the automotive industry for quite a while already, this assembly plant is truly the ultimate goal that my brothers and I had.” says Sytin. He also commended his FOTON family for showing much of their support in achieving one of the greatest milestones in the history of Asia’s largest vehicle manufacturer.
Also accentuating the event was the recognition of FOTON’s contributions to outreach programs such as the Gabay Guro project of the PLDT-Smart Foundation – an educational arm and flagship program which focuses on upholding education and the vocation of teachers in the Philippines. During the organization’s Grand Celebration, FOTON donated a Gratour Mini Van as a major raffle prize. In return of the company’s generosity, PLDT-Smart Foundation Gabay Guro volunteers Ms. Marisa Conde and Mr. Francis Bautista awarded a plaque of appreciation to President Rommel Sytin.
The FOTON Clark Assembly Plant’s ribbon-cutting ceremony was presided by FOTON Philippines Board of Directors Mr. Kenneth Sytin, Mr. Dominic Sytin, Mr. Rommel Sytin, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) CEO and President Arthur Tugade and CDC Vice President for Business Development and Business Enhancement Group Evangeline Tejada. Formally signifying the onset of the plant’s operation was a rollout of a 4×4 variant red FOTON Toplander SUV from its assembly line.
The 11-hectare assembly plant is the first automotive assembly firm in the Clark Freeport Zone. It includes an open area for FOTON’s ready units and is composed of 2 lots facing each other right behind the Clark Expo. The first lot houses the assembly and other production operations, while the second serves as a stockyard. The FOTON plant operations can be determined through its 3 major facilities, namely Unit Assembly in Building A; a 4, 200-square meter Parts warehouse and Pre-Delivery Inspection in Building B; and Body Fabrication area in Building C. In its full capacity, the single assembly line could produce a total of 12,000 units in a year but Sytin shares that shortly, FOTON plans to add another assembly line to mainly increase the production of FOTON vans
As the plant officially opens, it is anticipated that FOTON’s development in the automotive market will become more evident in the subsequent years due to the eventual increase of their production. Also adding up are more work opportunities for local workers in the region.
Through the help of TESDA, Clark Development Corporation and the Provincial Government of Pampanga, FOTON Philippines also committed to put up a Technical Training Center in Clark which will cater effective technical education to hone the skills not only of the region’s locals but also of every interested individual in the given profession. Sytin further states, “The future graduates of this technical training center can expect high possibility of employment within our company, with our dealers, as well as with other FOTON distributors abroad”.
Manifesting more of the company’s expansion, Sytin proudly announced that shortly, they would begin exporting vehicles to other neighboring ASEAN countries particularly in Laos and Taiwan.
FOTON’s humble beginnings have eventually turned out into a promising outcome. “It took a while, but we feel very fortunate that all our hard work has paid off,” Sytin says. Starting from a sales volume of 100 units in 2007, the script was flipped as FOTON reached almost 4,000 unit sales merely in 2015. “By the year 2020, FOTON Philippines aims to achieve an annual sales volume of 20,000 units” he positively exclaims.
FOTON Philippines’ standing in the automotive industry strives and continues to rise not just to empower their business and of their customers’, but also that of the Philippine economy – a truly admirable feat for a brand that has been in the Philippines for less than a decade.