There was a time, not too long ago, that the success of the biggest carmaker in the Philippines rested heavily on the Toyota Corolla. And when I say success, I don’t just mean in the financial sense and in terms of having a massive 40% market share. This compact car, dubbed the best-selling model in the world, established Toyota Motor Philippines’ (TMP) reputation for quality and reliability that made it the industry titan it is today.
I still remember the handsome AE92 Corolla that arrived with Toyota’s return to the Philippines after the economic downturn in the early ’80s. With its proud 16-valve engine, it was our first taste of modern automobile after Marcos-era economics decimated foreign car brands during the dark days of Martial Law.