BIZ BUZZ: Not just cars, but mobility solutions | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Not just cars, but mobility solutions

/ 02:07 AM August 15, 2022

The statistics for Toyota Motors Philippines (TMP) are impressive.

According to the company’s chair, Alfred Ty, the firm delivered its two millionth Toyota vehicle in March of this year, just as it celebrated its 34th year in the country earlier this month.

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More importantly, they expect to deliver the one millionth vehicle from their world-class Toyota Santa Rosa plant by the end of 2022, to make the Philippines the tenth largest market for the Japanese global automaker.

Employing over 63,000 employees throughout the group, the company has also contributed an estimated $17.1 billion in terms of auto component exports to the global Toyota network since 1997.

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In return, Toyota’s inward investments to the country have reached P73 billion while TMP’s total contributions to the government in terms of taxes have reached P426 billion over this same period.

But what does a company do when it is already the largest automotive company in the Philippines with a dominant share of the local market? How does one grow further when one is already the undisputed leader?

For TMP, the answer is simple: change the game. Last week, TMP launched Toyota Mobility Solutions Philippines Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary that will be a provider of mobility-related services.

Beyond just selling cars, Toyota Mobility Solutions will develop and offer a range of new solutions that will enhance the brand “that creates value for society through a service business model.”

According to TMP president Atsuhiro Okamoto, this new venture will “better shape the industry’s role in building our modern societies and enriching human lives.”

This translates to a suite of technology and data-driven lifestyle and business solutions that will provide fleet-connected services, on-demand shuttle booking app, car sharing or rentals, a logistics matching service, and fleet management service.

Additionally, this will complement Toyota Financial Services Philippines Corp. in promoting and managing units under its full operating lease product called KINTO, similar to vehicle lease programs in the United States.

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More importantly, the company is also doubling down on its investments in hybrid and electric vehicles, as more and more people become conscious about tempering the effects of climate change by reducing their carbon footprints.

All told, it’s a whole new ballgame for Toyota and the Ty family empire. Watch this space, folks.

—Daxim L. Lucas

SM . . . hall of famer

One of the country’s biggest conglomerates gets another feather in its huge cap.

We are referring to the Sy family’s SM Investments Corp., which was recently recognized as a “Hall of Famer”in the corporate governance category of the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards.

The awards are regarded as the gold standard for corporate social responsibility. These have been handed out to leaders in business across a host of categories for 11 years.

A total of 260 submissions across 19 countries were vetted this year based on effectiveness and reach, relevance and sustainability.

SM was cited for “demonstrating transparency and completeness of disclosure and reporting of governance practices in their annual report.”

It was likewise recognized for “safeguarding integrity in financial reporting, promoting ethical decision making through a structured board of committee, respecting the rights of shareholders and remunerating fairly and responsibly.”

In a statement, SM Investments president and CEO Frederic DyBuncio said they were happy for the recognition.

“As SM is a company that touches different industries in the country, we ensure our publicly listed business units produce a transparent report through our Integrated Reports that tell the story of our sustainability across the group’s wide ecosystem of businesses,” he said.

—Miguel R. Camus

David vs two Goliaths

Is the telecommunications industry witnessing a fight between David and two Goliaths?

DITO Telecommunity recently filed an anticompetitive case against its rivals Globe Telecom and Smart Communications to reveal and resolve the complaints of their subscribers. The third telco firm said their users were having a hard time calling the subscribers of the two major players due to lack of interconnection capacity.

But the industry giants did not cave in. Instead, they called on DITO to address first the fraudulent calls going through its network. The telco firms detected international calls that are masked as local calls, resulting in forgone revenues.

Globe has even asked the National Telecommunications Commission to compel DITO to pay P622 million as penalty for said calls. It warned that the penalty increases by about P2.5 million daily given the number of fraudulent calls being detected.

Smart also said it would not grant the third telco player’s request for capacity augmentation as long as the “fraudulent calls continue to proliferate.”

This week, the Philippine Competition Commission is set to decide on the case DITO lodged against Globe and Smart. Will this lead to further investigations? Let’s see!

—Tyrone Jasper C. Piad INQ

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