Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation said it was considering opportunities to expand into the electric vehicle sector, as it looks to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group’s AC Industrials division is a major manufacturer of electronic components while its AC Motors division is the local distributor of automotive brands such as Volkswagen, Kia, Maxus and KTM.

The company is also one of the largest dealers for Honda and Isuzu.  

The AC Motors division is looking into opportunities to distribute and retail battery powered motorcycles, as is strengthening its existing automotive business through digital marketing initiatives such as virtual showrooms, online sales platforms and mobile aftersales capabilities.

The AC Industrials division has also invested in the manufacture of power modules and other equipment for EV recharging infrastructure linked to “high-value specialty solar gridded cells and panels”.

The Philippines is one of the countries in Asia worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with GDP continuing to decline sharply in the third quarter – by 11.5% year-on-year following an almost 17% contraction in the second quarter. 

Ayala Corporation’s chairman, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, at this month’s Department of Trade and Industry’s annual manufacturing summit said “we and other private businesses can complement the government’s efforts by creating new jobs aligned with the post-pandemic economy, helping re-skill the workforce and localise the high value, complex capabilities required for long term national competitiveness”.