By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The eruption of Taal Volcano has disrupted operations of the eight dealers of Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) in the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon (Calabarzon) area that may dampen sales in the first quarter this year.
TMP Chairman Alfred Ty said they stopped production for two days at their manufacturing plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where they assemble the Vios model, and stopped delivery because they have to ensure that everything was in order following the ashfall.
“All eight dealers were affected in the sense that we have to wash, clean and hold delivery because we have to check the cars. We had to stop production for two days because we have to inspect everything,” said Ty at the Toyota Media Thanksgiving on Monday.
“Business in South Luzon had been delayed or slowed down because dealers have to wash, maintain the cars, check again to make sure the delivered vehicles are Toyota quality. Of course, there was delay, that is the reality without sugarcoating it,” he said.
The disruption, however, is not expected to cause TMP’s overall sales into the negative category in the first quarter of this year but it would impact on the performance of its Calabarzon dealers, Ty said.
Of the 71 TMP dealers nationwide, 8 are located in the Calabarzon area, which was affected by the ashfall following the eruption.
In 2019, TMP sold a total of 162,011 units or 5.9 percent increase over the 2018 sales of 153,004 units. The Japanese carmaker also widened its market share in the local auto industry with 43.79 percent from 42.81 percent share in 2018.
For its December 2019 sales alone, TMP sold 15,866 units or 9.2 percent higher than the December 2018 sales of 14,528 units. But compared to the previous month, November, TMP’s December sales registered a measly 1.5 percent.
In terms of market share, TMP’s December sales registered a wider 47.06 percent share of the local automotive market.