TOKYO -- Sumitomo Electric Industries plans to build a new plant in the Philippines to lift local production of copper wires for automotive wire harnesses by 30%.
The Japanese company will invest 2 billion yen ($19.2 million) by spring 2015 to construct a plant with monthly production capacity of 300 tons at an existing production site in the province of Bataan. The aim is to enable the smooth supply of materials as that site increases wire harness production. With the new plant, the firm's copper wire output in the Philippines will rise to 1,400 tons a month.
Assembling wires into bundles to create intricate wire harnesses is primarily done by hand. Sumitomo Electric has automobile wire harness production sites in some 30 countries. Until now, most of the wire harnesses destined for Japan and the U.S. have been made in China. With demand in China growing, however, the company has decided to bolster plants in the Philippines and in other Southeast Asian nations as export bases.