In a Country Where Half of Cars are Toyotas, Akio is Prepared to Lose Market Share


"As crazy as it may sound..." This is how Chairman Akio Toyoda prefaced his remarks at Toyota Philippines' 35th anniversary ceremony. With Toyotas making up 50% of the country's new car sales, what exactly did he mean?

Two new locally-produced IMVs

Chairman Toyoda’s speech

It has been a privilege to grow and prosper in the Philippines. But honestly for me, it's not about how many cars we've sold here or whether we're number one in sales.

My greatest wish is simply to be number one in the hearts of our customers here in the Philippines. Because we want to contribute more to this country than just cars, we want to help foster economic opportunity.

This desire to support the Asia Pacific has certainly been my motivation for projects like the IMV, which I had the honor of introducing in 2004 when I was in charge of the ASEAN region.

For me, the IMV launch remains one of the fondest memories of my career. So, I decided to challenge our engineering and design teams to return to the original intent of the IMV and create something truly affordable and truly innovative.

Internally, we call it the IMV 0 concept. Its official launch is still a year away, but I wanted to share it with all of you today! Take a look at what our Chief Engineer and Head of Design had to say.

After a video highlighting how the IMV 0 concept was designed to cater to diverse commercial needs, Akio again took the stage to unveil the latest concept models—and to reveal a new commitment.

Chairman Toyoda’s speech

Today, we've brought this new IMV 0 Concept to life for customers here in the Philippines. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the next-generation Tamaraw Concept, our Pace Car Pickup and Modern PUV Jeepney!

Pace Car Pickup
Modern PUV Jeepney

I'd like to thank our IMV team. Please stand and take a bow!

I truly believe these are products that can enhance the quality of life for many people and provide new economic opportunities. Because at Toyota, we believe people come first.

We believe in building cars to serve the real-life needs of our customers. That is why our IMV 0 team spent many months in the field observing the lifestyles and needs of our potential owners.

And I'm very pleased to say that in 2024, for the first time ever, IMV vehicles such as this next-generation Tamaraw will be produced as CBUs right here in the Philippines at our Santa Rosa plant!

This represents an additional investment by Toyota of 4.4 billion Philippine pesos. When I say I'm committed to the Philippines, you can count on me to put my money where my mouth is, as they like to say in the U.S.

Producing the IMV 0 locally is not just about the business of manufacturing new cars.

Eager to support the economic activities of smaller companies, TMP will also offer various customization options and mobility solutions in addition to the vehicle’s core value. The goal is to create the next-generation national car, beloved and championed by all Filipinos.

Making the cargo beds freely customizable according to diverse user needs will boost related businesses, giving rise to a supply chain for parts and accessories.

At the same time, this will ensure the vehicles are adaptable to various commercial and lifestyle situations, leading to entirely new uses and helping to create innovative mobility services.

This new endeavor will spark new business opportunities in the Philippines, contributing to industry and job creation.

New technologies to benefit others

Chairman Toyoda’s speech

Actually, this country reminds me of the U.S. quite a bit. Maybe it's because you all speak better English than I do, but maybe it's because you have the same optimism and zest for life.

And as we move into the next frontier in our industry, I think it's those that stay creative and optimistic who will succeed.

I truly believe there is enormous potential for growth here from both a business and technology standpoint. In fact, I believe it's the Philippines that could well become the Silicon Valley of Asia.

But as we create a world of connected vehicles, artificial intelligence, autonomy, electrification, flying cars, and more, we must always remember that humanity is at the center of it all. The mother, the daughter, the father, the grandmother, the people that we create these new technologies for.

Because making people's lives better and happier is the entire point. And for me, it's the only one that matters.

I think this was instilled in me by my father, Shoichiro Toyoda, who as you may know recently passed away. He was a great supporter of Toyota Philippines and a great friend of Alfred's father, Dr. George Ty, who is also no longer with us.

Alfred and I have now assumed our father's titles of Chairman, but I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we intend to reinvent the role and actively guide Toyota with as much energy and dedication as ever.

So, in other words, like it or not neither of us is going anywhere!

Along with our suppliers and partners, I especially want to thank our Filipino customers for supporting us as they have. As we look ahead, I want to assure you that the future of Toyota Philippines is very bright and only going to get brighter.

Ladies and gentlemen, we may not share the same rivers and mountains, but we share the same sun and sky and the same wish for harmony and happiness.

So, as we enjoy this special occasion today, let's make sure to celebrate what matters most: our friendship and our partnership. Because together, everything is possible. Thank you very much.

Toyota plants the seeds of sustainable growth by searching for ways to help develop the countries and regions where the company does business. Akio Toyoda has embodied this “best-in-town” philosophy for the past 20 years, since his days leading Toyota’s operations in Asia.

In saying that he does not “care if Toyota's share decreased,” Akio made a bold statement. Perhaps this was his way of once again reminding Toyota’s stakeholders of the company’s starting point: instead of seeking short-term profits, strive to genuinely contribute to the countries and regions where we do business.