Some regional news from the Philippines, where things aren’t all that rosy and there are lots of familiar issues, by the sound of it.

According to reports, rumours abound that there is the possibility that Isuzu Philippines might shut down its 13-hectare Laguna Technopark manufacturing facility in Binan, Laguna if business conditions don’t improve, going down the same path taken by Ford Philippines with its Santa Rosa plant.

The company, which began in 1995, has responded by issuing a statement on the matter. It says that there are no plans in shutting down its plant operations in Laguna, which is capable of producing 15,000 units annually, but if the current situation persists, there’s a possibility that the brand might scale down its assembly operations and look for another ASEAN country, where it is relatively cheaper to operate.

The statement adds that the Philippine automotive industry is facing multitudes of challenges in sustaining manufacturing, primarily in terms of production costs, and that the cost of operating its assembly plant in the Philippines is significantly higher compared with other ASEAN countries.

It is hoping that the government will extend assistance in the form of granting incentives, fiscal and non-fiscal, in order for locally-assembled vehicles to be more competitive compared with imported CBU units, in the process allow existing players to maintain assembly firms and not leave the country.