There are big changes happening over at the country's largest automaker: Toyota.

In a press event today in BGC, Toyota Motors Philippines (TMP) executives announced some major changes, results of the past year, as well as investments for the coming year.

First, the president of Toyota Motor Philippines Mr. Satoru Suzuki will be moving on to a new post after a second stint in the country with Toyota. Suzuki will be leading a Toyota subsidiary that will focus on consumer behavior concerning major Toyota markets, one of which is the Philippines. Currently, the Philippine market ranks 9th worldwide for the company in terms of volume.

Toyota hasn't officially announced Suzuki's successor, but they did say that the next TMP president will come from Toyota Motor Asia Pacific.

The other major announcement from the outgoing Toyota Motor Philippines president is that the company will be investing in a new facility in the country.

Toyota to invest PhP 4.5 billion to build new Luzon import hub image

TMP is tentatively referring to it as the Luzon hub, and that they will use the facility to improve the logistics of their imported vehicles or completely built-up units (CBU).

Toyota didn't release any more details about the facility other than its purpose and their overall investment of PhP 4.5 billion (about USD 88.6 million) into it. What we do know is that we're surprised that they didn't have one already operating given the scale of their imports.

While Toyota is the largest car manufacturer in the country, they are also the largest single importer of CBU vehicles. Locally, they manufacture the Vios and the Innova. In 2018 alone, those two models accounted for 44,015 units. But those two only account for about 29% of the company's total sales volume of 152,389 units in 2018, meaning the remaining 71% or 108,374 units were all imported.

Toyota hasn't announced the location of the facility yet, but we think it would be located somewhere that would be easily accessible by ports (i.e. Batangas) and could serve as the place where they would check all imported vehicles before they head out to dealers.

The Luzon hub will be operational by late 2020.