CAR SALES of Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. (TMP) went up as of September, but the company is not confident it will achieve its annual sales target of 165,000 units.
TMP sold 114,117 units in the nine months ended September, a 4.3% increase from the same period last year.
However, TMP President Satoru Suzuki told reporters after a tour of their Santa Rosa, Laguna plant that he is not confident about reaching the annual car sales target.
“We are expecting also the market grows more, but we still are challenged, not confident,” he said.
There was a slowdown in the market last year due to excise taxes on vehicles under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
TMP First Vice President Rommel Gutierrez is, however, optimistic about this year’s sales growth, noting that the last quarter is when car companies traditionally see an uptick in sales.
Meanwhile, TMP is working to comply with requirements for the governments’ car production incentives program.
TMP is one of two companies in the CARS or Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Program, which awards companies $1000 of fiscal support per unit produced.
The program requires the company to produce 200,000 units of the vehicles it registered to the program over six years and to locally produce the body shell and other plastic parts. TMP is producing Toyota Vios units under this program from last year up to 2024.
The overall TMP production target for this year is at 53,669, up from around 44,000 last year. The company has already produced 39,932 cars or around 75% of the target. More than half of cars it has produced are Vios units.
“We are thinking we need to meet the 200,000 requirement. Of course at the same time, we feel risks because the so-called excise tax increase was not expected when we applied,” Mr. Suzuki said.
“No matter what risk is waiting for us, we try to establish how to complete, how to sell this total of 200,000.”
Mr. Suzuki said that TMP has no plans to export the vehicles.
TMP now produces 41-42% of the Vios locally, up from 37-38% prior to enrolment in the CARS program.
The Vios body shell is now 57.71% locally produced.
In addition to local parts production, TMP also introduced Roller-Hemming Robots at its welding line and an A0 Press Line for stamping side member panels. — Jenina P. Ibañez