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Toyota hopeful on passage of auto industry road map

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - August 26, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The local unit of Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. remains committed to continue operations in the country but hopeful that the release of the automotive industry road map will determine its on future investments here. 

“Toyota understands that the road map for the automotive industry is soon to be announced.The passage of this road map is a big factor and crucial to the continued operation and future investment plans of Toyota in the Philippines,” Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMPC) vice president for corporate affairs Rommel Gutierrez said in a text message yesterday. 

Even as the road map has yet to be released, the firm intends to continue its Philippine operations, he stressed. 

“We will remain to be a strong partner of Philippine government in enhancing the competitiveness of the automotive and automotive parts manufacturing in the country,” Gutierrez said. 

Last week, TMPC president Michinobu Sugata told reporters the company is pouring in more than P2 billion for the production of the new Innova, which will undergo full model change and have greater local content.

The Innova, currently being assembled at TMPC’s plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, has a 30 percent local content. 

Sugata said the investment will allow the firm to increase the new Innova’s local content to more than 40 percent.

The government is currently finalizing the road map containing strategies and support to be extended to automotive firms to make the industry competitive. 

“We are finalizing the policy and support we will give to ensure resurgence and competitive automotive industry,” Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. told reporters. 

He said the government is making an assessment of the fiscal and non-fiscal support that can be provided to industry players that share the same level of ambition the government has in making the country a manufacturing hub in the region. 

The road map is seen necessary in reducing production costs as the gap between a locally assembled car and an imported one is estimated at around $2,000.

TMPC is the country’s top selling automotive firm. Last year, its sales hit an all-time high of 75,587 units. 

The company is aiming to beat last year’s record by selling nearly 100,000 units this year, as it banks on the country’s positive economic conditions and demand for newly launched vehicles.

Earlier this year, TMPC introduced new variants of the Corolla Altis, Yaris, Innova and Wigo.

The company is set to launch a sports utility vehicle and sports car under its luxury brand Lexus within the year. 

 

AUTOMOTIVE COROLLA ALTIS INNOVA INNOVA AND WIGO MICHINOBU SUGATA ROMMEL GUTIERREZ TOYOTA MOTOR CORP TOYOTA MOTOR PHILIPPINES CORP TRADE UNDERSECRETARY ADRIAN CRISTOBAL JR.
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