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Toyota remains upbeat on PH vehicle market

/ 05:30 AM January 01, 2019

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) is not considering to export its locally produced Vios units, even though its closest rival in the market has decided to export amid a slump in local sales.

TMP president Satoru Suzuki earlier told reporters the company was still banking on the potential of the local market, despite the fact that the Vios had been selling below expectations.

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“We feel domestic demand is still enough for us to meet the requirement. So no need to consider exportation,” he said.

TMP has to produce 200,000 units within a six-year period in compliance to a government initiative that was launched near the end of the Aquino administration’s term.

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This is the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program, the implementation of which has been mired by disruptions under the Duterte administration, such as inflation and tax reform.

Toyota started producing its registered model under the CARS program, the All New Vios, in late July. Months after, Vios sales still leave a lot of room for improvement.

From August to November, Suzuki said the company sold only “less than 10,000” units.
He did not disclose the volume of production during the period. However, ideally, the company needs to produce more than 33,000 units annually to hit the 200,000 goal.

Due to the slowdown in the market, he said current Vios sales were not as strong as they expected.

Only Toyota and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. have qualified under the CARS program.

For its part, Mitsubishi has already decided to export its locally produced Mirage units —its registered model under the CARS program—this year.

Nevertheless, Suzuki said Toyota was not considering to export its units.

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TMP, which remained the top seller in the local market, sold 138,476 units of vehicles from January to November last year. This was, however, 16.9 percent lower than the sales figures a year ago.

Mitsubishi, for its part, sold 62,013 units in 11 months, a 7-percent drop from the same period last year.

“This year (2019), we think growth should be positive compared to last year year, but not as big as we experienced before,” he added.

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