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Ayala's manufacturing push paving way for electric car production

Philippines conglomerate marshaling group resources to lead industry shift

Ayala's joint venture with motorcycle maker KTM could give the conglomerate expertise to produce electric vehicles. (Photo by Mario Ignacio IV)

MANILA -- Philippine conglomerate Ayala is bulking up its manufacturing business in a bid to lead Southeast Asia's transition to electric vehicles, betting the group's massive resources can make up for other nations' advantages in auto production.

Since June, a gleaming, state-of-the art factory on the outskirts of Manila has been turning out midsize motorcycles, intended both for domestic buyers and, eventually, for export to markets such as Thailand and China. The joint venture by Ayala's manufacturing unit AC Industrial Technology Holdings and Austrian motorcycle maker KTM currently produces only around 20 bikes daily. But there is ample room to raise output, and the partners plan to gradually lower parts procurement costs by switching from KTM's Indian partner Bajaj Auto to suppliers in countries such as Thailand and Malaysia.

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