Top Gear Philippines

While a huge part of the Philippines was suffering from the wrath of Typhoon Pedring early this week, President Benigo S. Aquino III was in Japan for an official visit. When he came back after the storm, he carried with him news about investments, including a piece of good news for Toyota fanatics.

Aquino reportedly met Toyota Motor Corporation executive vice president Yukitoshi Funo, Toyota Motor Philippines Inc. (TMPI) president Michinobu Sugata and TMP vice chairman Alfred Ty during his Japan visit. After the talk, Toyota Motor Corporation is reportedly planning to expand its operations in the Philippines with investments involving as much as P3.6 billion.

With this amount, Toyota is planning to produce 100,000 cars in the Philippines by 2013--the company's 25th anniversary here. Toyota currently assembles the Innova and the Vios in its plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

Toyota is also planning to expand its dealership network to 65 by 2016 from the current count of 29.

"This involves a total new investments of P3.6 billion and an estimated 5,000 new jobs," Presidential Communications Operations secretary Herminio Coloma was quoted saying in the Manila Standard Today.

The investment is also expected to finance a manufacturing plant for "next-generation components."

"They are now using this term 'next-generation'--probably referring to hybrid or electric cars--so there will be a higher degree of digitization in the components of the next-generation cars," Coloma said in a separate report on GMANews Online.

Toyota is the leading car brand in the Philippines. It sold 56,855 units in 2010.

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