Toyota Motor PH marks turnover of presidency

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Angel Rivero
Angel Rivero
You may remember Angel as Tado's trusty driver 'Erning' from the defunct Filipino satire show, Strangebrew. These days, she enjoys spending her time driving around the country and to distant lands, in search of interesting cuisines and unique adventures. She also occasionally competes in circuit and endurance races. Tama!!

Last Monday, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) celebrated the official turnover of the presidency of Toyota Motor Philippines between outgoing president, Satoru Suzuki, and incoming president, Atsuhiro Okamoto. The formal turnover ceremony was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, and witnessed by industry partners, government representatives, members of the media, and special guests.

TMP chairman Alfred Ty opened the occasion with a speech that revisited TMP’s strong participation in the government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program and the company’s relevant investments into it, which have now amounted to P5.42 billion. He pointed out how the company looks forward to continue giving back to Philippine society through the generation of local employment, the further development of people’s skills, continuous technology transfer, and of course, through the production of more quality vehicles.

“We now employ over 55,000 Filipino men and women – directly and through our network of Toyota dealers and local parts suppliers,” shared Ty. Adding that, “In 2019, we paid 46.8 billion pesos in various taxes and duties towards national development or a cumulative amount of 384 billion since we started operations in the Philippines. And, we have exported close to one billion dollars of auto parts annually. These contributions to nation building are made possible by your trust in Toyota.” 

Outgoing TMP president Satoru Suzuki

Since the start of their vehicle sales in 1989, TMP has sold a total of 1.7 million Toyota vehicles to Filipinos. In their first 20 years, they were averaging about 30,000 vehicles sold per year. But that number has almost quadrupled in the last 10 years, averaging at about 114,000 units sold per year. And just this 2019, TMP recorded a hefty 162,011 units sold – a hugely impressive feat that is reflected in the company’s multiple years of Triple Crown achievement (best-selling passenger vehicle, best-selling commercial vehicle, and best overall vehicle sales in the country).

Incoming TMP president Atsuhiro Okamoto

Alfred Ty also took the opportunity to acknowledge the leadership of the man who steered Toyota in the Philippines over the last four years — Satoru Suzuki. Fondly recalling that, “When he came on board in 2016, he led Toyota and the auto industry to record sales!”

TMP’s cumulative success elevated the Philippines to rank as the third largest market for Toyota in the ASEAN region…and the ninth largest in the world! TMP was also awarded the much-coveted Total Quality Award of the Philippines.

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Finally, Ty welcomed TMP’s new president, Atsuhiro Okamoto. He described their new president thus: “Mr. Okamoto brings with him a very youthful and forward-looking leadership that, I believe, is most needed at this time of motorization for the Philippines.”

Atsuhiro Okamoto served in various roles in both Toyota and Lexus over the past 28 years. He graduated from Keio University in Japan and started his career with Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in 1992. Previous to his assignment here in the Philippines, he was posted as Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Asia Pacific.

TMP executives raise a toast to the outgoing and incoming presidents

Taking his turn on the stage, Okamoto said: “I started my first few weeks in the Philippines with unforgettable memories – the eruption of Taal Volcano! This eruption has affected many Filipinos and even our plant operations. On the other hand, I have seen how strong Filipinos are! The great Filipino spirit of “bayanihan” and resilience have been very evident, and shown by everyone. I also saw how the Filipinos’ value of “malasakit” is clearly manifested, as we express our concern to the company and to our fellowmen. So as TMP’s new president, I would like to reiterate in all TMP team members, dealers and suppliers, the importance of dedicating our work to contribute to society. We would like to continuously provide ever better cars, ever better mobility services, and solutions to enhance the quality of life of Filipinos.”

Alfred Ty and the rest of Toyota Motor Philippines are surely looking forward to more vibrant and exciting times ahead under Okamoto’s new leadership.

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