Top Gear Philippines

Vehicle sales and production at Toyota Motor Philippines are set to return to normalcy, said TMP vice president Jing Atienza in Cebu during the company's seventh annual Toyota Road Trek event for the motoring media. According to Atienza, production at TMP will return to a five-day, two-shift workweek in the first week of June, much earlier than they initially expected. TMP had to recently shorten its production workweek to three days and a single shift due to the lack of parts supply from Japan in the aftermath of the March 11 calamity.

Due to the shortage in parts supply, Atienza said their May sales are expected to drop to around 3,600 units, a steep fall from the 4,200-4,500 units they sold each month from January to April. This means TMP will have a harder time hitting its 2011 sales forecast of 62,000 units. Nevertheless, Atienza maintained that his company is still bent on reaching that goal in spite of the odds.

"When we set a sales target, we at TMP don't do it for an overall financial bottom line," he shared. "We do it mainly to challenge ourselves."

Asked if TMP is forced to set higher sales targets these days in order to maintain its big market share in the face of stiffer competition--fellow Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi and Korean rival Hyundai are constantly in hot pursuit--Atienza explained that other car companies have nothing to do with their targets. "We base our sales forecasts on consumer demand, not on other carmakers' numbers," he asserted.

So, what does TMP have to say about other car companies aiming to dislodge it from its lofty position as the automaker with the biggest market share in the Philippines?

"It's true that nothing is impossible," acknowledged Atienza, "but we have no plans of surrendering that position."

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