Toyota has unveiled the 2020 update of the Vios, its bestselling compact sedan.
Witnessed by thousands online, the upgraded Vios should help Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) lead the resurgence of the local auto industry following the lockdown that virtually paralyzed the economy.
But a more significant aspect of the new Vios launch is Toyota’s resolve to continue producing the Vios at its local plan in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
In an online press conference held before the public Vios launch on Facebook Live, TMP president Atsuhiro Okamoto said: “You can count on TMP to stay true to our promise of making the world’s best Vios, and in the process, helping the economy, and providing livelihood to thousands of Filipino families.”
Okamoto revealed that the Toyota factory in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, is only working one shift a day, producing around 100 Vios units daily.
However, there are plans to double the number of shifts in September of this year, he added, which should be good news as it indicates Toyota expects to see some growth in sales following the steep drop in vehicles sold during the strict lockdown.
In a press statement, TMP chairman Alfred Ty also expressed the importance of Toyota continuing to produce the Vios. “Under the CARS Program of the government, the Vios is our flagship. It helps support almost 55,000 lives throughout the Toyota network, 71 dealers, 56 local suppliers and countless other business and trade partners,” Ty said.
“Our Toyota Vios is a symbol of the best of Japanese technology and Filipino craftsmanship. In my mind, our Vios has become the national car of the Philippines. Atin ito. Gawa ng Filipino para sa Filipino. Proudly made in the Philippines, by Filipinos, for Filipinos,” he added.
Also at the Zoom press conference, Jing Atienza, TMP SVP for marketing, said one of Toyota’s role as market leader is to give momentum back to the market.
He added that as much as possible the auto industry must work to go back to normal “but of course with safety in mind.”
New Nissan Logo
Nissan has unveiled a new logo during the World Premiere of the all-electric crossover Ariya.
The Ariya is the first Nissan vehicle to carry the new logo.
In a press statement, Nissan said the new logo reflects the significant changes in society over the last two decades brought mainly by digital technology.
In explaining the meaning and significance of the new logo, Tsutomu Matsuo, deputy general manager of Nissan’s advanced design department, said: “The new Nissan logo communicates our guiding message, carried over from past iterations: If you have a strong, determined belief, it can even penetrate the sun.”
“At Nissan, this strong belief in the power of achievement has never wavered and can be seen in our pioneering efforts in electrification, driver assistance and digital connectivity. Our logo has to convey all of this in just a glance, to show our commitment to our customers, employees and society,” Matsuo added.
Engineers and experts are weighing in on the effectivity and safety of approved barriers or shields approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for use by married couples or live-in partners when riding tandem on motorcycles.
In a position paper, the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers said: “When the motorcycle is in motion, the barrier will contribute to the change of the designed allowable aerodynamic forces (drag and lift) which will compromise the stability of the motorcycle. This will place the safety of the riders at risk.”
“With the barrier attached when the motorcycle is in motion, the front side of the barrier builds up pressure while creating turbulence and suction behind the barrier. This will not guarantee that the barrier will be effective in protecting both riders from the spread of air particles to each other,” it added.
Earlier, the IATF had approved two barrier designs. One used metal tubes framing a still clear acrylic plastic to be attached to motorcyles.
Another, designed by Angkas, a pioneer in app-based motorcycle taxis, used high-grade flexible polymers to come up with a shield worn like backpacks by rider with grips for passengers.
Angkas also partnered with University of the Philippines College of Public Health (UP-CPH), in studying ways to makes pillion riding safer amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UP-CPH formulated health protocols recommended to protect people riding tandem on motorcycles against coronavirus infection as well as ensuring safe riding. The recommendations were to be submitted to the IATF and Congress. Angkas did not say it outright, but it apparently hopes the protocols would convince the IATF to allow motorcycle taxi operations.
Extended PETC Hours
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is allowing Private Emission Testing Centers (PETC) to operate longer hours and increase the number of vehicles they can test and upload in a day.
The DOTr also extended the validity of the authorization to operate given to PETCs and Motor Vehicle Emission Control Technicians (MVECTs) until July 30, 2020. The authorization were to have expired on July 15.
This is to meet the huge demand for Certificate of Emission Compliance (CEC) needed to renew vehicle certificates of registration.
PETCs are allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are also allowed to conduct emission testing on a maximum of 120 vehicles.