Toyota PH president: A 20% decline in 2020 sales is ‘a bit optimistic’

The carmaker is adjusting to the new normal
by Drei Laurel | Aug 21, 2020
An interview with Hiro Okamoto on Toyota's new normal
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Doing business under the new normal is going to take a few adjustments. Even Toyota, one of the world’s largest and most successful car manufacturers, knows this.

In an exclusive interview with Top Gear Philippines, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) president Hiro Okamoto shared that the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines’ (CAMPI) projected 20% drop in sales for 2020—brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic—may be on the glass-half-full side of predictions.

“As you know, CAMPI has showed their projection for 20% decline. For AVID (Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc.), also a 30% to 40% decline,” Okamoto tells us. “A 20% decline is a bit optimistic, I assume. So 30% to 40%? But the 40% is huge actually. Yeah, we adjusted. But how much should be adjusted is still under study. I hope the recovery speed is faster than our assumption.”

To cope with the situation, Okamoto says TMP is now looking at new ways to motivate customers to buy cars and spur demand: “Toyota should contribute to market recovery. In order to rewrite that, we are now considering how to motivate the customers’ demand and expectations.”

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While the company says it continues to adjust to the situation, it’s been doing a noteworthy job of maintaining interest among Filipino consumers. At the start of August, TMP introduced the refreshed Vios. It followed the country’s hottest-selling subcompact sedan up with an all-new addition to its lineup: the Toyota Corolla Cross compact crossover.

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Other changes the company is making to its operations include the implementation of more stringent anti-coronavirus guidelines at its dealerships and other facilities to protect both its customers and employees. 

Want to see what else the brand is up to during the pandemic? Watch the exclusive interview above to get a better idea of what the industry’s road to recovery will look like.

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