A RISING global demand for cars has encouraged a French automotive supplier, which operates a facility in Cebu, to strengthen its Philippine operations.

Automotive wiring protection manufacturer Delfingen said it intends to grow its market in Asia, where half of the world’s cars are produced. Cebu, its biggest manufacturing facility in the region, will support this initiative.

“One of our biggest challenges is to grow in Asia. Asia covers 13 percent market share (in our business worldwide),” said Damien Personeni, Delfingen executive vice president for global business development, in an interview last Saturday.

Sales breakdown of the company shows that 44 percent of its 180-million-euro annual revenue comes from Europe and Africa, while 43 percent comes from North, Central, and South America.

Delfingen manufactures tubings and sleeves to protect a car’s nervous system, the on-board electrical and fluid networks, and to ensure safety and continuity in the transmission of power and information.

Their products are used by some major carmakers like General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Suzuki, and Volkswagen.

In Cebu, Delfingen’s business is largely supported by the demand from Lear Corp., a global company that specializes in automotive seating and electrical power management systems, which also has a presence in Lapu-Lapu City.

Solid team in Cebu

The rest of their products are exported to Vietnam and Indonesia.

“We have a very solid technical team here (in Cebu) that has been supporting our opening of factories in China and India,” said Personeni.

From 40 people when it started in 2000, Delfingen Cebu now employs 225 workers in its 7,000-square-meter facility.

Three years ago, the family-owned French company also opened a facility in Cavite to support the demand for wiring protection systems from Japanese automotive companies. This site is up for expansion, said Personeni.

On its 17th year operations in Cebu, Personeni described the ease of doing business here. “I have to admit that the free zone (Mactan Economic Zone 2) has been extremely cooperative in facilitating the business,” the official said.

Foundation’s work

“While we are driven by customers, PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) is giving the infrastructure to make it easier. In terms of infrastructure, internet connection, and facility, we receive great response from PEZA,” he added.

Delfingen is present in 19 countries with 33 sites covering Europe, North Africa, North, Central and South America and Asia-Pacific.

Last Saturday, Delfingen Foundation in partnership with Essilor Vision Foundation held eye screening tests and provided glasses to 700 Defingen Cebu employees and their families. (JOG)