30 years of better cars for better lives
MOTORING TODAY - Ray Butch Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - August 8, 2018 - 12:00am

It was the longest time I have ever waited for anything or anybody in my life. But perhaps it was well worth the wait to see two icons together on the same stage — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda.

That was how grand and momentous Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMPC) marked its 30 years of meaningful existence and sustained success in the country at the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Manila last August 1.

Current TMPC president Satoru Suzuki drew the curtains of the much-delayed program with warm remarks, “Today, as our 30th anniversary celebration takes place, we believe that your presence and patronage is a testament of your strong support for Toyota. For this, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude. I firmly believe that the partnership we have developed and harnessed remains to be the strong backbone of Toyota’s success in the Philippines.”

The country’s well-respected business tycoon and GT Capital Holdings (which holds 51 percent of TMPC) chairman Dr. George SK Ty also made his revered presence in the milestone celebration just in time to welcome the delayed arrival of President Duterte.

The esteemed business mogul’s ever-youthful son, TMPC vice chairman Alfred Ty, proudly recalled in his speech the remarkable company’s start-up years, “I distinctly remember the time that one year’s sales was a mere 15,000 units and fast forward 30 years later, Toyota ended 2017 with 184,000 units, lodging the Philippines to No. 9 in Toyota’s global sales. It was a result of years of passion, discipline and creating a culture to cultivate quality and the commitment to achieve the ‘Always Better’ in everything we do. To this we say, Thank you for all your support to Toyota.”

When the time for the president of the Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), the very likeable Toyoda came to speak to a literally captive audience as no one was allowed to come in or out of the ballroom until the end of the program for security reasons, he gave a short reprise of Toyota’s history in the Philippines. How Toyota started in 1961 but had to cease operations when unfortunately the partnership met with great difficulties. (Someone offered me the inside info that their partners then had a falling out from the powers that be then). 

Toyoda continues his storytelling, “My father, Toyota Motor Corporation’s honorary chairman, had a very strong passion to re-start Toyota’s business here with Dr. George SK Ty. He flew here by himself to invite Dr. Ty to Toyota City. Dr. Ty agreed and accepted the offer. Together, they created history and made Toyota Motor Philippines what it is today.”

To end his storytelling Toyoda declared, “Once we left, but we are here now, never again to stop our business. That is our promise to the Filipino people.”

From the statements released to the media during the event we gathered that Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation has an equity structure composed of 51 percent for GT Capital Holdings, 34 percent for Toyota Motor Corporation and 15 percent for Mitsui & Co. Ltd. It has to date a combined workforce of office and production employees of 1,918 and a network of 67 dealerships including that of Lexus Manila.  

We also learned that its plant, which is currently located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna has an annual production capacity of 55,108 units for locally-produced (CKD) models of Vios and Innova and has a cumulative total CKD production since 1989 of 791,665 units to date.

Concluding the festivities’ program after the relatively short and read-straight-from-the-script keynote speech from President Duterte was the official turnover of keys of vehicles donated by TMPC to the Philippine government in commemoration of its 30th anniversary composed of 30 locally produced units of 20 all-new Vios and 10 brand new Innovas.

With the theme, “Always Better Cars, Always Better Lives” TMPC celebrated its sustained success, which they consider to have been made possible through strong partnerships and linkages in the past 30 years as well as thank TMPC’s stakeholders for their unwavering support to Toyota’s business.

Through the momentous celebration TMPC reaffirmed its steadfast commitment to national development through its contributions in developing the local auto manufacturing industry, especially with its participation in the government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program and continuous support to local suppliers development.

Congratulations to Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation! After 30 years, here’s looking forward to 30 decades and more.

Ssangyong’s new 2018 lineup

Despite the very tight schedule of the media last Wednesday, Aug. 1, what with an eagerly awaited Toyota Philippines’ 30th anniversary celebration set in the evening, motoring journalists still found time to troop to the Valle Verde Country Club to be present in the intimate get together arranged by their long-time friend and SsangYong Berjaya Motor Philippines managing director Dave Macasadia.

“We are proud to announce the 2018 lineup of Ssanyong vehicles,” shares Dave, who is also fondly called “Supremo” by intimate friends in the motoring beat. “It makes us happy to be able to bring to the public such a range of stylish, yet practical, vehicles which complement not only their active lifestyles but offerings from our competitors. Proudly made in South Korea, our lineup not only offers style but also substance with true usability and reliability minus the penalties of expensive maintenance.”

Presented during the mini press con is the Tivoli Premium Sport, which comes with a more homey interior finish and the updated Tivoli XLV. Both receive substantial design improvements and specification upgrades intended to deliver a more refined and mature crossover experience.

For the price conscious, I’m sure you’d like to know the known “value for money” proposition of SsangYong vehicles. The 2018 Tivoli Premium Sport retails for P1,160,000.00 while that of the more spacious 2018 Tivoli XLV Diesel starts at P1,180,000.00 for the 4x2 variant.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments/inquiries, email sunshine.television@yahoo.com or visit www.motoringtoday.ph.

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