Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMPC), the country's leading automotive company, officially introduces today its new president, Mr. Hiroshi Ito, who begins his assignment in the Philippines this February. Mr. Ito is the successor of Mr. Nobuharu Tabata, who concluded his 4-year term as TMP president.

TMP's new president, Mr. Hiroshi Ito, brings with him more than 30 years of experience with Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), the world's second-largest automaker, and its global distributors in North America and Oceania regions. Mr. Ito graduated from college in Japan's Hitotsubashi University with a degree in BS Commerce. His experience with Toyota started in 1975 where he handled affairs concerning Africa Division. During this time, he took the opportunity to expand his knowledge with an MBA at University of Penn (Wharton) in the United States of America (USA).

In 1988, he became Senior Executive Coordinator for Sales Operations of Toyota Motor Sales, USA. After five years, he returned to TMC where he became Manager of North America Division, and was later on assigned as Deputy General Manager of International Public Affairs Division.

His global experience was further enhanced with his most recent assignment as Executive Director of Toyota New Zealand, Ltd., from 2001 to 2005.

Following the achievements of TMP's former president, Mr. Ito expresses the challenges with his new assignment, "It is very difficult to add something on top of Mr. Tabata's significant achievements. There is no doubt that Toyota Motor Philippines is on the road to becoming a stronger and more competitive company, with the foundations of growth laid down under Mr. Tabata's leadership. As his successor, I believe that the next step is strengthening these foundations. For me, the challenge is to continue TMP's market leadership for the years to come... in fact, as an affirmation of our continued commitment, we are pleased to announce that TMP shall start locally producing the Vios in 2007. Being the current best-selling model in its class, the Vios is expected to boost TMP's local production, together with the Innova."

The company bade farewell to its former president, Mr. Nobuharu Tabata, during the turnover ceremony. In his four-year term, Mr. Tabata accomplished historical achievements in all aspects of its operations. He led the company to an unprecedented market leadership with four consecutive triple crowns-number one in passenger cars, commercial vehicles and in overall sales. Most importantly, he has helped the company achieve the market share of 36.6 percent in 2005, the highest since its inception.

In terms of product improvement, Toyota introduced five major models, all of which are the leaders in their respective segments. The highlight of which are the three models under the Innovative International Multipurpose Vehicle (IMV) Project, the Hilux, Fortuner, and Innova.

Mr. Tabata further expanded Toyota's reach nationwide by opening four new dealerships in strategic areas in the country, making Toyota not just the overall market leader, but dominating eight regions as well.

TMP's former president likewise led the company to greater heights as an automotive-manufacturing company. In a statement, he expresses, "Although TMP sells far lower volumes compared to its ASEAN counterparts, we were able to compete in terms of overall quality. Our defect per unit levels has been progressing every year. The dream of becoming the Best Quality Automotive Company in the country is being realized, through the successful consolidation of our 82-hectare Sta. Rosa Plant; and the continuous local production of the best-selling vehicle in the country, the Innova."

Throughout Mr. Tabata's 4-year term, he also helped build a stronger relationship with the Philippine Government, by establishing Toyota as a partner in nation-building. TMP has remitted more than Php 58 Billion in tax revenues since 1988. Toyota Autoparts (TAP), and its relating suppliers, have exported US$ 502.2 Million in 2005, a big jump from US $ 384 Million in 2004. Moreover, he has strengthened TMP's role as a model corporate citizen, through the various activities of its social and humanitarian arm, Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation (TMPF).