Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) is on a good roll for 2019. Now that the market has become accustomed to the new taxes under the TRAIN law, Toyota's sales are looking good for 2019 despite the dip they took in 2018.
The introduction of the new generation Hiace, unsurprisingly, is one of the major contributors to their 2019 sales performance so far. The Philippines holds the distinction of being the single largest Hiace market outside of Japan, and for this year the model averages over 1000 units per month.
The sales performance earned Toyota Motor Philippines the privilege of becoming the first Philippine-based automaker to hold a world premiere of a major global model when they debuted the new generation Hiace Commuter Deluxe, GL Grandia and Tourer earlier this year. Mind you, the Hiace Commuter (the previous generation) is still being produced and sold in significant numbers alongside the new generation model.
Yesterday, Toyota launched the latest variant in that series: the more comfortable Hiace Super Grandia. Judging by the response to the report we published earlier this month with all the prices and features prior to the launch, the Super Grandia is what the market had been waiting for given how it is expected to offer comfort approaching the level of the Alphard, but at much lower prices.
But how many Hiace Super Grandia units is Toyota aiming to sell?
According to Ms. Cristina Arevalo, TMP's First Vice President for Marketing, Toyota is actually targeting to sell 400 Super Grandia units per month. That's a lofty target for sure. To put that number in perspective, Toyota currently sells less than 120 units of the current (but aging) Corolla Altis per month.
The target for Super Grandia would mean that Toyota could be selling up to 1500 Hiace units every month.
Supply will be Toyota's challenge from here on, as all Hiace models are produced and imported from their factories in Japan, not Thailand. And given that other Asian markets have launched their equivalents of the Super Grandia such as the Granvia and Majesty (Thailand), don't be surprised if customers experience long lines at dealerships nationwide.