Toyota to upgrade Innova

MANILA, Philippines – Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) Corporation is investing more than P2 billion ($45.6 million*) for the full model change of the Innova, the company's most successful multipurpose vehicle assembled in its Sta. Rosa, Laguna plant.

The investment will go to increased localization of automotive parts for the Innova, said TMP president Michinobu Sugata during an interview on the sidelines of the celebration of the company's 26th anniversary.

According to Sugata, the Innova is up for an upgrade because its model life has exceeded more than 10 years. A model usually has a life of 5 to 7 years.

More than P1 billion ($22.8 million*) of the investment will be spent for the production in the country of pressed parts, which TMP currently imports from Thailand.

"Preparations for the investments already started. We will modify the existing Innova and we will secure more parts from the Philippines. It's quite a big investment," Sugata said.

The investment is being made by TMP amid the government's failure to release the automotive roadmap that sets the direction for the industry.

PH auto industry has so ‘many possibilities’

Sugata said the Philippine automotive industry poses "so many possibilities" such that he anticipates total vehicle sales to exceed the revised target of 250,000 units this year. The target has been upgraded from the original forecast of 230,000 units.

Sugata said by 2016, vehicle sales would hit more than 300,000 units and by 2020, sales would reach 500,000 units.

Sugata said TMP, including the Lexus brand, hopes to sell 100,000 units this year.

For the first 7 months of the year, TMP sold 58,635 units or a substantial growth of 43% versus same period last year.

Sales of its best-selling Innova and Vios increased 17% from 29,886 units in 2012 to 34,869 units or about 59% of total sales.

Sugata also noted the success in the Philippines of its small car, the Wigo, which has grabbed market leadership in the segment since its launch in March.

The model is selling 1,000 units per month, or double the 500 sales target.

Sugata said a model refresh for the Wigo is also being planned this year to cement its leadership.

He added that Wigo is not eating up the market of Vios and both models are leading in the segments where they are in.

TMP will add 3 more dealerships – Zamboanga, Roxas City and Tagbilaran – this year.  It now has a network of 44 dealers. About 60% of all Toyota sales come from Metro Manila. -







*($1 = P43.86)