More information on the 2023 Toyota Innova Zenix for Philippine market
If there is one automaker that is going to make a lot of waves this year, it’s Toyota Motor Philippines or TMP. Based on our information from company insiders, we know that TMP is going to keep us busy with a lot of new model launches this year.
We expect a series of new models to be launched this year like the Yaris Cross and possibly even the all-new Wigo. We may also be able to finally see the all-new Vios in the Philippine market once Toyota gets the production line reworked for the new D92A, but that may be in 2024 most likely.
But, there is another that we’re keeping our eyes and ears peeled for: the all-new Innova Zenix. As you know, the Innova is one of the most popular models in the Philippine market, so much so that the running joke is that it is impossible to take a photo of an interesting car without spotting Toyota’s MPV in the background or foreground.
The new generation Innova was first revealed in November 2022. Yes, it’s fully re-designed, but more importantly, it’s totally re-engineered. Perhaps the biggest change is the switch to a TNGA-C monocoque instead of a body-on-frame as with the previous two generations. That also means the Innova is a front-wheel drive as opposed to rear-wheel drive, as well as a switch to gasoline engines… including a hybrid. Toyota is not making the Innova with a diesel engine anymore, at least as of now.
Yes, the Innova has been completely redone, and from what we understand the Innova Zenix is slated for a release sometime in Q3, most likely in August. There are two things we can confirm, at least based on what information we are getting… not officially of course.
We are being told that the model will have a hybrid option. Unless something has changed, Toyota will offer the 2023 (or 2024) Innova with a 2.0L hybrid system with the CVT as well as the non-hybrid 2.0L gasoline.
Sadly, however, we can say with certainty that the Philippine-market Innova will not be built in the Philippines. It will instead be a CBU (completely built-up) import most likely from Indonesia. And here’s the thing: the discontinuation of the Philippine assembly for the new generation Innova was decided as early as 4 years ago. Given our source of the information, we can consider that as fact.
There are several reasons for that decision, most of which we can ascertain given the history of the model and what the new generation entails. The first is that the Innova was built in the Philippines based on a PGMA program called MVDP which has since been superseded by CARS. Given the volume of the Innova and the 30,000 annual unit requirement of CARS, it’s unlikely that it will be able to meet the minimum to qualify for incentives and make it competitive enough to offset the fiscal disadvantages of building it here.
The second is the investment required for the assembly of an electrified vehicle here. There needs to be battery storage for hybrid vehicle manufacturing, and you can already imagine the costs of such an investment. More importantly, Toyota has already invested in having that infrastructure in their factories in other countries in the region: Thailand and Indonesia.
So yes the Toyota Innova Zenix we will get will not be made here, that much is clear. But from what we know, TMP is working hard to plan for the retooling to retain Vios manufacturing here in the country despite opposition from Thailand to have all Vios assembly done there. Fret not though as there’s also the prospect of the new generation Tamaraw for our market based on the IMV-0, and that will definitely be built here with fresh investment from Toyota.