TOYOTA Motor Philippines (TMP) Corp. expects vehicle sales to bounce back this year as it targets a 5% growth after an industry-wide slump in 2018.
As a sign of confidence in the local market, its parent Toyota Motor Corp. chose the Philippines to hold the world premiere of the all-new 2019 Hiace.
“We are estimating the market this year it will increase compared to last year but not double-digit. Latest forecast this year is 5% total market growth,” Toyota Motors Philippines President Satoru Suzuki said in a press conference, when asked for the company’s sales growth target this year.
Earlier, TMP said it is targeting a 10% sales growth this year.
“Inflation is one of the factors that will give impact but customers’ incomes are also growing, so we hope (the) latter half this year, customers’ mentality will get used to inflation and together with their income growth, customers will buy cars,” Mr. Suzuki said.
The vehicle industry saw sales slump last year due to the imposition of new taxes and soaring inflation. In 2018, car sales dropped 16% to 357,410 units.
TMP led industry sales with 153,004 vehicles sold — accounting for 42.81% of the total — down 16.8% from 183,908 in 2017.
Meanwhile, TMP is bullish on sales of the new Hiace, with Mr. Suzuki saying he expects to sell 1,600 units a month.
Toyota selected the Philippines to host the world premiere of the new vans as it is the ninth market for Toyota vehicles worldwide, and the top market for Hiace vans in more than 150 countries where it is sold.
In 2018, the Hiace had a 56% market share in the utility van segment in the Philippines. — Janina C. Lim