Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) will return to two-shift production at its Sta. Rosa, Laguna manufacturing complex, starting today, Sept. 14, signaling normalization of operations after months of limited capacity.
This was announced by TMP President Atsuhiro Okamato during the introduction over the weekend of its new pick-up truck Toyota Hilux upgrade.
“That means our production volume and plant operation and production efficiency will be returning to normal same as before COVID,” said Okamoto noting they will increase capacity by October and onwards.
He, however, said that capacity will still depend on the demand situation in the country. TMP produces two models locally, multipurpose Innova and Vios, its enrolled model under the government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program.
According to Okamoto, overall demand has been affected, including the pick-up trucks for fleet, but the market is on its way to recovery.
He said that demand has started to improve since May. As the quarantine is expected to further ease this month, Okamoto expects sustained recoveries until end this year.
During this pandemic, Okamoto reported that the small vehicle models, particularly its Wigo and Vios are in a better situation than the bigger car models as Filipinos have to buy cars due to limited public transportation.
The overall auto industry has maintained the projected 30 percent decline in growth in sales this year over last year.
Meantime, TMP Senior Vice President for Marketing Jose Maria Atienza said they sold 7,000 units of Hilux so far this year or 13 percent of total TMP sales. For the remainder of the year, TMP expects to sell around 5,000 units or close to 1,500 units a month.
“Yes, Hi-Lux for Toyota in the Philippines is one of our major models, one of our top selling models,” said Atienza.
The hardworking Hilux has been a dependable road companion for Filipinos for city driving and off-road adventures, whether at work or at play. In 2019, it captured a commanding 30.5 percent segment share, a lead that TMP is looking to maintain through the introduction of the world-renowned pickup badge’s latest version.
“This 2020, the New Toyota Hilux and Toyota Hilux Conquest arrive with an impressive new look, that is more rugged and exciting than ever,” said Okamoto.
“The new Hilux is designed to meet the tough demands of Filipino drivers and the country’s varying roads. I am confident that the Hilux would once again prove why it is the Philippines’ pick-up of choice. Tough on every road, every inch a Hilux,” he added.
The New Hilux comes with improvements on its looks, performance, and features, and is available in 4×4 Conquest and 4×2 Conquest variants, G AT and MT, and E MT. It is also competitively priced with the E variant starting at P1.1 million.