June 27 Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it
will close its assembly plant in the Philippines later this year
as part of a restructuring in the region.
The decision to close the plant in Santa Rosa when
production of the Escape sport utility vehicle ends was made as
part of Ford's effort to cut costs, the company said. The
Philippines market will be served by imports from other plants
around the world, mostly from Thailand.
"The company studied every possible scenario and
opportunity, but we could not make a strong enough business case
for future manufacturing," Randy Krieger, Ford Group Philippines
president, said in a statement.
The plant, in which Ford has invested about $270 million
since it opened in 1998, can build 36,000 vehicles annually and
employs 250 people. Some of the affected employees will shift to
sales and marketing in the Philippines, or to other plants in
Ford is currently the only volume exporter of vehicles from
the Philippines and has exported more than 80,000 vehicles with
a value of $1 billion to Southeast Asian markets including
Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. The No. 2 U.S. automaker still
plans to double its number of dealers in the Philippines by
Ford said a separation package, including training and
counseling, will be offered to all of the affected employees.