“We expect some growth compared to last year, but still less than 10 percent,” TMPC president Satoru Suzuki told reporters.
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Toyota gears up for sale recovery
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMPC) and its luxury arm Lexus expect to reverse the sales decline seen last year with a single-digit sales growth this year.

“We expect some growth compared to last year, but still less than 10 percent,” TMPC president Satoru Suzuki told reporters.

TMPC remained the top automotive brand in the country last year as it accounted for 42.8 percent of the market with sales of 153,004 units.

Compared to the 183,908 units sold in 2017, last year’s sales dropped by 16.8 percent.

While the higher taxes imposed on vehicles under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law which took effect last year may no longer have that much of an impact on vehicle demand this year, Suzuki said there are other factors TMPC has to watch out for such as inflation, interest rates and peso depreciation.

He said the three factors which affected vehicle demand last year may continue to impact this year.

Peso depreciation, in particular, prompted the company to hike vehicle prices by up to two percent last year and the higher prices discouraged customers from making purchases.

Suzuki said TMPC may implement another price increase within the year.

As for Lexus, he said sales are also expected to post single-digit growth this year, although at a slower rate than TMPC’s.

He said sales of Lexus fell to almost 600 units last year from 1,200 units in 2017.

“I think the luxury segment is not going to see as much growth as Toyota expected because the luxury segment is a very limited market. Maybe stable, but no jump up expected,” Suzuki said.

He said sales of both TMPC and Lexus are expected to pick up at a much faster rate by next year.

As part of efforts to achieve higher sales and reach more customers, TMPC is increasing its dealership network this year to 72 outlets.

To date, TMPC has 69 dealerships, of which 68 are for Toyota and one for Lexus.

Suzuki said all three new dealerships to be opened this year will be for Toyota.

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