WHILE consumer spending has not been robust compared to the pre-pandemic period, Toyota Mabolo still saw vehicle acquisitions during the pandemic year 2020.
Joseph Lo, Toyota Mabolo executive vice president, said companies, individuals and government agencies bought vehicles last year as public transportation was barred from operating during lockdowns.
“We saw a lot of people actually buying their own units not only for their own comfort but also for their safety. Amid the pandemic, vehicles have helped transport people, employees so that they”ll feel safer,” said Lo.
Sales of Toyota Mabolo dipped 20 percent last year but Lo said it was the top selling dealer in the Visayas and Mindanao.
“For 2021, we did pretty well from January all the way to May; not as good as (same period in) 2019, but we’re hopeful that we are on our way to economic recovery,” Lo said.
Yvonne Bala, Toyota Mabolo vehicle sales manager, said the company posted 40 percent increase in sales from January to May this year compared to the same months last year.
Amid a still gloomy economic environment, Lo urged his fellow entrepreneurs to open up their businesses to keep Cebu’s economy alive.
To lead the pack, Toyota Mabolo opened its premium lifestyle showroom inside SM City Cebu over the weekend to show its confidence of the country’s economic recovery.
“We are opening the Toyota Mabolo Premium Lifestyle Center as an extension of the Toyota Mabolo franchise. We’re elevating the customer experience of the entire industry,” said Lo.
“We actually decided to open our showroom amidst the pandemic to inspire other businesses, other entrepreneurs. This is also to signify that this is the new normal we should get used to and they should also be opening their businesses as well to keep the economy running and generate jobs,” he added.
The Toyota Mabolo Premium Lifestyle Center provides a unique concept.
“We’re not just selling cars but elevating the lifestyle of every Cebuano. It’s a different kind of experience when you are there, which is a first in the auto industry,” Lo stressed.
Toyota Mabolo introduces the GR Garage to cater to car afficionados where they can gather and share their passion for Toyota and motorsports.
The GR Garage will be carrying Gazoo Racing high performance products and GR merchandise to provide a whole level of shopping experience to customers.
Toyota Mabolo will also be showcasing new models this year, such as the all-new Land Cruiser 300 and the GR Yaris.
However, Lo said their priority is to push the sales for locally manufactured vehicles like the Vios and Innova to help generate jobs among Filipinos.
Only 244,274 vehicle units were sold in the Philippines in 2020, according to the Chamber of Automotive Manufactures of the Philippines and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, a 47 percent drop from the 2019 level of 457,110 units.
Toyota remained the country’s top car brand. The Japanese manufacturer sold 100,019 units last year despite suffering a 38 percent dip in sales.
“We are looking forward to a much better tomorrow, especially with the upcoming 2022 elections,” Lo said, noting that the election will create economic activity not only in the auto industry but in other industries as well.
He added that as the economy fully rebounds, vehicle acquisitions will be on the rise, as businesses reopening will need vehicles to serve their customers. (KOC)