Everything appears to be back to (new) normal Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP). The Japanese automaker has been launching new models as before, from the facelifted Wigo to the global debut of the refreshed Vios last weekend. However, it seems even the top-selling automaker in the country will not be spared from the heavy effects brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During a Q&A session at the Vios launch last weekend, TMP president Atsuhiro Okamoto said that they were expecting around a 35 - 40% decline in projected sales this 2020. For reference, TMP managed to sell a total of 161,395 units last year with a 5.91% growth over its 2018 sales.

Although TMP did not disclose their projected sales for 2020, a 35- to 40% downward trend based on their 2019 figures would put it at around the 96,000 to 105,000 mark. This would very likely be the biggest drop in TMP’s sales in the past decade or so.

Assuming their projected forecast is accurate, if TMP does sell around 100,000 units this 2020, it would already be a blessing. Considering the current financial situation in the country, it has become more difficult for customers to purchase a brand new model. As such, consumer demand for brand new vehicles is affected, as the uncertainty of the current situation have forced many to reevaluate their spending. 

Whether TMP hits their new projected sales numbers or not, what's sure is that the road to recovery is a very long one. It might take a couple of years before sales figures of any automaker for that matter return to the high levels of 2019. Hopefully, the launch of new models this year will help speed up TMP's recovery.