Toyota Motor Philippines said over the weekend it expects to start this year operations of the P4.5-billion Batangas Vehicle Logistics Hub, a 32-hectare facility 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 TMP president Atsuhiro Okamoto.
The logistics hub will house a pre-delivery inspection and post production installation facility with a capacity 160,000 units per year and a stockyard that can accommodate at least 4,500 cars at a time.
Similar to its Santa Rosa Vehicle Logistics Center, the new facility will have an 18-truck lane covered car carrier loading and unloading area. This will ensure the safety and health of the working crew, enabling them to operate in any weather condition.
The company said that despite the drop in 2020 sales across the automotive sector because of the prolonged lockdowns and limitations in physical movements, it had several bright spots indicating industry resilience and showing promise of recovery.
“Even though the past year has been challenging, the market has shown incredible resilience and was able to achieve 242,000 in sales. That being said, I am pleased to announce that TMP was able to achieve 100,019 unit sales in 2020, with an expanded share of the market at 41.3 percent,” Okamoto said.
Toyota chairman Alfred Ty cited the efforts of the government and industry partners in contributing to improvements in market conditions and overall environment for both businesses and the consumers.
“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.
“Every week there are new developments regarding a COVID-19 vaccine and while this may not be the be-all and end-all solution to this pandemic, it is a welcome development and a sign that progress is happening earlier than expected,” he said.
“Also on the brighter side of things, the ‘Build, Build, Build’ project of the government and the private sector is coming into fruition. We commend the continuous construction of these new roads and highways which will enable economic recovery efforts and bring more joy to driving,” Ty said.
Toyota also supported the possibility of extending the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy program in consideration of the impact of the pandemic on car manufacturing and sales.
Meanwhile, the company pointed out the effects of the proposed provisional safeguard duties that the government plans to imposed on certain models of imported vehicles.
“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. TMP operates on the basis of a combination of locally-produced and imported vehicles. We will maximize efforts to promote sales of our Vios and Innova to cushion the impact of safeguard duties. We are counting on the support of Filipinos to buy Filipino,” said Okamoto.
Toyota’s vast and diverse line-up of vehicles is mostly composed of imported CBU models, but the company is optimistic of the opportunity that can open for the locally-manufactured Vios and Innova.