It's no surprise that the local automobile industry has been experiencing a lot of challenges this year. External factors such as the Taal eruption and the coronavirus pandemic have severely held back the progress for an industry that was initially forecast to surpass the 500,000 unit milestone in 2020.

But perhaps this will give the industry a bit of a boost.

The country's number one automobile company, Toyota, has just announced that they have locked in a major deal with the country's number one beverage company, Coca-Cola. All in all, Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) will be procuring over 200 vehicles from Toyota; vehicles that will be assigned to their sales associates across the country to serve small businesses.

"We serve almost 1M sari-sari stores and over 5,000 business partners—therefore having reliable, safe, and efficient vehicles for our sales force is very important in our business operations,” said Ronald Tamayo, Procurement Director of Coca-Cola. "More importantly, the safety and well-being of our personnel have always been a priority, and this refresh and update of our service fleet will also allow them to carry out their duties with more safety.”

The new fleet that Toyota has prepared for Coca-Cola is comprised of over 200 vehicles that include the Wigo hatchback, the locally-built Vios sedan, and the reliable Hilux pick-up.

The deal was closed with Toyota Makati, Inc. (TMI), and the vehicles were procured with the help of Orix Rental Corporation who will facilitate periodic maintenance services, insurance, and overall management of the vehicles.

With new-vehicle retail sales being heavily affected by the economic effects of the pandemic, we'll probably see more car companies pursuing more fleet sales in order to try and achieve their revised 2020 forecast and targets.