Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation has just held the ceremonial roll off for the all-new Toyota Vios at their factory in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
Led by TMP president Satoru Suzuki and attended by senior Toyota executives and their entire workforce at the Toyota Motor Philippines plant, the new Vios was presented to the press and members of government for the first time. The roll off marks a new chapter in Toyota's long history of automobile assembly in the Philippines.
“The Vios was introduced to the Philippines in 2003 as a Completely Built-Up or CBU model that was made in Thailand,” remarked Satoru Suzuki, TMP president, in his speech. “Since 2007, it has been produced locally right here in Santa Rosa. Upon its introduction, the Vios immediately captured the hearts of Filipinos as a true icon of value and fun.”
The all-new Vios is poised to succeed its predecessors as the largest volume model manufactured in the country. The company sold over 36,000 units of the Vios last year. The Vios it replaces has been in production in Santa Rosa since 2013, which in turn succeeded the second generation model that started production in 2007.
Along with the Vios, Toyota also assembles the Innova at the factory. Together, the two models combine for about 53,000 units total; Toyota executives say that the factory is capable of up to 55,000 annually.
The roll off ceremony of the Vios took place one day before the official launch, wherein Toyota will officially announce all the variants and prices of the new model. The ceremony -which included pouring champagne on the cars for good luck- was also attended by senior government officials, including DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. Toyota's Vice Chairman, Alfred Ty, was also at the event to welcome the new model that has just commenced series production on July 16.
“Increased local vehicle production under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy or CARS Program is one of the most significant ways that Toyota is helping to push this plan,” said Mr. Ty in his speech. “TMP's participating model, the all-new Vios, is the reason we are gathered here.”
As Toyota's model entered into the government's CARS program, TMP will have to produce 200,000 examples of the model spread out over the next six years. To achieve it, Toyota will need to average about 33,000 units of the Vios per year in order to qualify for the incentives under the CARS program.
“We feel some worry caused by the current market,” expressed Mr. Suzuki in a press conference. He was referring to the drop in sales within the domestic auto industry; pundits speculate that buyers advanced their purchases to avoid the additional excise taxes which came into effect this year.
Despite that, Suzuki expressed his outlook for the prospects of the Toyota Vios under the CARS Program: “Relatively, we are optimistic we can achieve 200,000 units in 6 years.”