TOYOTA Motor Philippines president Satoru Suzuki will end his 4-year term in the Philippines as the record-breaking “5 Continents Drive” passed thru the country.
During his term, Suzuki had successfully led TMPI through the bullish years starting 2014 and through the difficult post-TRAIN law times when automotive sales dipped up only to slowly pick up at the towards the end of the year with the CAMPI pegging its 10 percent growth for the year.
“We were able to enjoy the best of times and the worst of times during my stay in the Philippines. The introduction of many new models helped us keep our sales numbers afloat, but sales is not the only important activity at Toyota,” Suzuki said in an interview.
In line with the company’s commitment to make “ever-better cars” and its motivation to “bring something back” to society, TMPI is aligning its activities to the global “Start Your Impossible” campaign by highlighting real-life mobility stories of Olympic and Paralympic athletes as well as everyday athletes who demonstrate the values of humility, hard work and never giving up.
The campaign marks Toyota’s long-term commitment to support the creation of a more inclusive and sustainable society in which everyone can challenge their impossible through stories of determination as well as through Toyota technologies. The two creative pillars of the multi-platform global campaign include, “inspiration,” which celebrates the human spirit and product “evidence,” showcasing Toyota’s ideas for innovations that can help people move freely.
“Start Your Impossible, not only is for the Tokyo 2020 but also incorporates other CSR activities we are planning—this includes our realization as a company of our effect on the environment, and a conscious effort to be more conscious citizens—for example, do we plant a tree for every car we sell?” Elijah Marcial, VP for Marketing said as she explained the various Toyota campaigns.
The 5 Continents Drive aims to drive various Toyota vehicles in local communities, diverse terrains, and challenging environments which customers experience on the road on a daily basis.
Their motto: “Roads build people, and people build cars.”
Globally, the 5 Continents Drive started in 2014 in Australia, and has since travelled across North and Latin America, Europe, and Africa. The team started their Asia Drive this February 2019 in the Middle East and is slated to end in Japan in time for the milestone Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Towards the end of November, almost coinciding with Suzuki’s announcement to the TMPI community of the end of his term, the Philippine leg of the global project 5 Continents Drive commenced its journey through the country, ending its “Philippine Goal Event” at Toyota Manila Bay Corporation (TMBC). Officially launched in a send-off ceremony at TMP’s Santa Rosa, Laguna plant last November 19, the project brought 27 Toyota engineers and technical experts from TMC, TMP, Toyota Daihatsu Engineering and Manufacturing (TDEM), and Toyota Motor Asia Pacific (TMAP) to the roads of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Tarlac, La Union, Baguio, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales and back to Manila for a goal event at TMP’s dealership along Manila Bay. The 5 Continents 9-vehicle convoy for the Philippine drive is composed of the locally-assembled Vios and Innova, together with the Hilux, Corolla Altis Hybrid, Rush, Fortuner, and the RAV4.
“Toyota Motor Philippines is honored to be a part of the historic 5 Continents Drive, with our very own Team Members guiding the group as local experts. They will help the 5 Continents Drive team understand not only the local road conditions, but also the country’s transportation situation, and culture,” Suzuki said during the send-off ceremony. At the end of his term he proudly spoke of the various projects his company undertook, not as direct activities to increase sales, but to level up the awareness to mobility related challenges, which he said does not directly impact sales but rather increases the consciousness of most people.
As part of the preparations for the driving experience activity, the participants from Toyota’s Japan, Thailand and Singapore offices were taught local road rules and regulations, and briefed on local road traffic situation and safety reminders.
They were also exposed to the unique ways Filipinos are customizing transport solutions like the use of Toyota’s Hiace models as public utility vehicles locally known as UV Express.
A visit at Toyota’s Angeles dealership also helped the team gather more insights on the Philippine market in terms of transportation situation, culture, and relevance of vehicles to every Filipinos’ daily routine.
The 5 Continents Drive or 5C Drive is a Genchi Genbutsu project (literally translated to “go and see for yourself”). This Toyota Way philosophy encourages employees to go directly to the source to get the facts of a situation. The 5 Continents Drive is managed under Toyota Gazoo Racing, which also handles all of Toyota’s circuit and rally racing activities.