Safeguard duties on car imports open up opportunity for automaker

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    TMP’s assembly line in Sta. Rosa, Laguna assembles Vios and Innova. (TMP photo)

    The imposition of safeguard duties on imported vehicles has opened an opportunity for Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) to ramp up production of its bestselling and number one car in the country, the Vios, with the introduction of the GR Sport variant.

    Jose Mari Atienza, TMP senior vice president for marketing, said while the planning for GR Sport was made more than a year and a half ago or before safeguard duties were not imposed, “in general this is one of those additional efforts for Toyota to enhance , increase sales and production of our CKD (completely knocked down) model, the Vios ,being the number one and bestselling car .

    Vios is one of the two models being produced by TMP, the other is the Innova.

    Rommel Gutierrez, TMP first vice president, said the company is confident the government will extend the duration of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) following a favorable recommendation of the Department of Trade and Industry.

    The new Vios GR variant will form part of TMP’s compliance to CARS where the company targets to produce 200,000 units for the duration of the program.

    Sherwin Chua Lim, TMP vice president for marketing, said the company targets to sell 50 units per month of the GR Sport variant, or about 1.6 percent of total Vios sales.