Toyota PH looks forward to help drive industry recovery this year
MANILA: Following the interruption of the once strong forward momentum of the automotive industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, perennial industry leader Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) shared that it is more than prepared to aid the entire country in bouncing back and moving forward this year.
Despite the downturn in sales projections for 2020 across the automotive industry because of restrictions in physical activities and extended lockdowns, TMP has identified some points that indicate recovery and market resilience.
TMP President Atsuhiro Okamoto said, “Even though the past year has been challenging, the market has shown incredible resilience and was able to achieve 242,000 in sales. That being said, I am pleased to announce that TMP was able to achieve 100,019 unit sales in 2020, with an expanded share of the market at 41.3%."
TMP Chairman Alfred Ty expressed his optimism and highlighted the actions of industry stakeholders and the government that contribute to the improvement of the general environment for both consumers and businesses as well as the market conditions.
Ty explained, “While the automotive industry as a whole may have seen challenging sales at the onset of the pandemic, we also saw gradual growth from the lowest point in May. We expect this increase to continue as Filipinos ease back into their daily routines and resume pursuing the life goals that had to take a backseat in 2020."
Ty also noted that weekly, there are new developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine and that it is an indication of progress happening sooner than expected.
He added, “Also on the brighter side of things, the 'Build, Build, Build' project of the government and the private sector is coming into fruition. We commend the continuous construction of these new roads and highways which will enable economic recovery efforts and bring more joy to driving."
The executives of TMP also expressed support for the recent statements made by the officials of the Board of Investments (BOI) regarding the prospect of extending the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program to take into account the effect of the pandemic on car sales and production.
Ty said, “We thank the government for considering the extension of the CARS Program. This is very crucial for the existence of local production not only for the existing players but also in attracting additional investment in the industry. In this business of the automotive industry, where the market is still at a growing stage and lower-priced vehicles dominate new cars sold, the key to survival is volume. Economies of scale is much needed to make investments sustainable, whether a completely built-up (CBU) or completely knocked down (CKD) player, or both."
When it comes to the healthy balance between the CKD and CBU businesses of TMP, President Okamoto also discussed the most recent concern affecting not only car companies but also the whole supply chain of the local vehicle manufacturing industry.
Okamoto stressed the role of TMP as a major role player in both CKD and CBU operations.
He explained, “With the recent announcement of Safeguard duties, market recovery will be adversely affected and growth may be much more limited, as early as when provisional duties are implemented. As you know, however, TMP operates on the basis of a combination of locally-produced and imported vehicles. We will maximize efforts to promote sales of our Vios and Innova to cushion the impact of safeguard duties. We are counting on the support of Filipinos to buy Filipino."
The diverse and wide range of vehicles of Toyota largely comprises imported CBU models. Yet, TMP maintains its optimism on the opportunity that can open for its locally-produced vehicles — the Innova and Vios.
TMP also claimed that as the biggest mobility firm in the country, it needs to take on the role of helping to drive the local automotive sector forward and steer the country towards economic recovery.
Ty emphasized the responsibility of the automotive sector as a backbone of the country’s economy. He explained, “The automotive industry provides mobility for all of us. And when we talk of the automotive industry, this does not only cover vehicle production and sales, but it includes parts, logistics, and public transportation. Mobility brings us a new wind, a change in landscape and, most importantly, it brings us closer to tomorrow. This 2021, I hope we can continue to support each other as we brave the challenges and seize the opportunities the new year will bring."
Photos from Toyota Motor Philippines