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Friday, April 19, 2024

Toyota remains optimistic about 2021 automotive industry outlook

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TOYOTA Motor Philippines (TMP) has put their cards on the table for 2021, and it is nothing short of optimistic for the automotive industry.

The previous year may have brought severe challenges, but the country’s leading automaker is more than ready this year to do its part in helping move the country forward.

At a mini-press conference on Friday, TMP Chairman Alfred Ty sounded an upbeat tone: that the economy is improving and that businesses will recover in no time. He also cited government and industry partners’ efforts to improve market conditions and the overall environment for both businesses and consumers. Likewise, Ty sees 2021 bringing a lot of hope and optimism but conceded that it would not be all smooth-sailing moving forward.

“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,” said Ty.

Further, TMP recognized the government’s “Build, Build, Build” Project for the unceasing construction of new roads and highways, which will enable economic recovery efforts. Welcomed, as well, was the administration support by way of recent pronouncements by Board of Investments (BOI) officials on possibly extending the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program, considering badly the pandemic had dented car manufacturing and sales.

“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 automotive industry business, 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” said Ty.

Expanded market share

Meanwhile, TMP President Atsuhiro Okamoto shared what the company achieved in vehicle sales. Despite the challenges, TMP sold 100,019 units in 2020. That also translates to an expanded share of the market at 41.3 percent. Okamoto also said that based on favorable market factors, the auto industry is forecasted to recover to 320,000 units. Toyota sales are estimated at 130,000 units.

However, the TMP president views with caution the recent announcement of safeguard duties and its effect on car companies and the local car manufacturing sector’s entire supply chain. Okamoto pointed out the healthy balance of the company’s CBU and CKD business, emphasizing its position as a significant player for CBU and CKD operations.

“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 our Vios and Innova sales to cushion the impact of safeguard duties. We are counting on the support of Filipinos to buy Filipino,” said Okamoto.

Mobility for all

Ultimately, TMP believes that as the largest mobility company in the Philippines, it has the responsibility to help push the local automotive industry forward and steer the country towards economic recovery. Citing a statement from Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, TMP Chairman Ty stressed the automotive industry’s role as the backbone of every country’s economy.

“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 also 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,” Ty concluded.

Batangas logistics hub

Aside from being optimistic, TMP is also beefing up its logistic operations. The company is set to start operating its P4.5-billion Batangas Vehicle Logistics Hub this year. The cost of the initial phase was estimated at P420 million. The 32-hectare logistics hub will house a Pre-delivery Inspection and Post Production Installation facility situated near Batangas Port.

“TMP remains committed to supporting the goal of the government to stimulate the economy and to prepare for the eventual resumption of motorization in the country. The auto industry is a key driver of economic activity and an essential part of the drive to increase mobility. At the heart of the Batangas, Vehicle Logistics Hub is our promise of making ever-better cars for our customers. Preserving the quality of our vehicles, from production in various plants all over the world to delivery dealers and customers, efficient logistics is necessary,” said Okamoto.

Capacity-wise, it can accommodate at least 4,500 units at a time and up to 160,000 units per year. Like the Santa Rosa facility, the new site will have a covered 18-truck lane car carrier loading/unloading area. Since TMP is an ardent supporter of the environment, about 6 hectares of this property will remain green.

New SVP of Marketing Division

TMP also introduced its new Senior Vice President of Marketing Division, Masatoshi Toiya. Starting out in 2007 at Toyota Motor Corporation, he also had a stint at Toyota Motor Asia Pacific division. Toiya’s fields of expertise are Demand and Supply, Pricing and Profit, and Human Resources. “This is my first time to work as part of a Toyota distributor, and I am excited that it is with Toyota Motor Philippines. While I don’t have a specific role that I would consider my favorite, I am always up for anything that will challenge me,” he said.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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