Toyota starts making Vios at Philippine plant

By Ronnel Domingo
Inquirer
Last updated 07:07am (Mla time) 07/14/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMPC) will start producing the Vios next month at its plant in Santa Rosa City, outside Manila, its top official said.

 

The company spent P1 billion to prepare its plant for assembly of the passenger car from completely knocked down kits, TMPC president Hiroshi Ito said.

 

Ito said the plant was in the final stages of preparations, which he said were expected to be completed by the end of this month.

 

“We plan to assemble the Vios at an initial monthly volume of less than a thousand units,” Ito said. “At peak volume, Santa Rosa would be able to turn out 1,500 units monthly.”

 

Ito said the added production activity in the remaining five months of the year would bring up the Sta. Rosa plant output from 14,000 units of Altis passenger cars and Innova minivans in 2006 to 18,000 units by the end of this year, including the expected Vios sales.

 

Still, the official said TMPC expected the new Vios, which was launched Thursday, to sell at about 1,200 units a month.

 

TMPC said the Vios, known for its fuel efficient and powerful engine, had won several awards including being the best subcompact sedan from various local car award groups and the 2006 Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Economy Run.

 

The new Vios, which would be available by the end of August, is expected to sell close to a thousand units monthly.

 

There will be five variants of the new car — 1.5G-leather automatic transmission, to be sold for P811,000; 1.5G automatic and manual transmission, P765,000 and P730,000; 1.3E manual transmission, P649,000, and the 1.3J manual transmission, P575,000.

 

TMPC vice president Rommel Gutierrez meanwhile said the Board of Investments approved last week tax and other incentives for the company for investments related to the assembly of the Vios.

 

Gutierrez said the project was given a non-pioneer status, which means that the company could avail itself of a tax holiday for up to four years as well as duty-free importation of capital goods.

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