DTI: Another firm wants to buy Honda’s car plant in Laguna

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Another company is interested in acquiring automaker Honda's production plant in the country which is up for closure next month, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 28) — Another company is interested in acquiring automaker Honda's production plant in the country which is up for closure next month, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

"Kung may umalis, may mga nag-eexpand, may mga gustong mag-locate pa dito at expand sila ng operations," Lopez told reporters.

[Translation: If someone leaves, there will be some who will expand operations and relocate here.]

Lopez did not reveal the name of the firm but hinted that it is an "existing player" planning to expand operations. He added that the player may not necessarily focus on cars.

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. announced on February 22 that it will stop production in the country in March with the closure of its plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Honda had been manufacturing cars in the country since 1992.

Lopez earlier confirmed that 387 Honda workers will lose their jobs but will receive "generous compensation." This drew the ire of labor group Defend Jobs Philippines who later called on Labor chief Silvestre Bello III to look into the matter.

The trade chief said the plant's closure was a "global decision" which stemmed from trade tensions between the US and China and the coronavirus disease outbreak.

Honda also reportedly stopped production in the United Kingdom, Turkey, Argentina and Mexico.