Toyota Motor PH sets P2-billion budget for all-new Innova

By Catherine Pillas, BusinessMirror

Posted at Aug 21 2014 08:59 AM | Updated as of Aug 21 2014 05:00 PM

MANILA - Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMPC) is planning to invest at least P2 billion to improve its auto-parts localization for a full-model change of the locally assembled Toyota Innova.

“We are going to have a full-model change of Innova; we’re going to invest more than P2 billion,” TMPC President Michinobu Sugata told reporters on Tuesday evening.

Sugata said the P2-billion investment will be utilized to source more parts locally, including pressed parts that are currently being imported from Thailand.

This would bring the local content of the Toyota Innova to more than 30 percent, according to Sugata.

Pressed components and parts will take up more than 50 percent of the P2-billion investment.

Sugata said TMPC is still in the “preparation stage,” but the all-new Innova will most likely be rolled out next year.

The Toyota Innova is one of two locally assembled vehicles of the Japanese auto firm, the other being the best-selling nameplate here, the Toyota Vios.

Meanwhile, Sugata said the automotive industry will probably exceed the 250,000-unit projection for 2015. This optimism was shared by TMPC Corporate Vice President and Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers in the Philippines Inc. President Rommel Gutierrez.

TMPC leads the industry, selling 58,635 units as of July. For July alone, it sold more than 10,000 units.

The Toyota Wigo, the Japanese brand’s offering in the small-car segment, has been netting an average sales figure of 1,000 units per month since its introduction in March.

Despite the popularity of the Wigo, the Toyota Vios remains the best-selling vehicle of the company.

The Toyota Group early this year announced a P 7.5-billion investment to upgrade local parts manufacturing of the Toyota Vios and finance new projects from 2014 to 2016.

Another factor that may boost the performance of TMPC is the introduction of a new Toyota model, which, Sugata said, is smaller than the Lexus RX.

For more Businessmirror stories, go here.