Toyota plans to surpass Honda in sales this year and regain the number one position from Japanese competitors. This task is explained in the corporate presentation of UMW Holdings Berhad released this month. The group is the majority shareholder of UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT), which is the importer and distributor of Toyota and Lexus in Malaysia.
The launch of new models will support the mission of “regaining market leadership in non-national markets”. Earlier this month, UMWT launched the Fortuner facelift and the Innova facelift, as well as the Corolla Cross C-class SUV to be launched in the second quarter of this year. There will also be a new car and another “GR model”, both of which will be released in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The presentation slide also shows that UMWT plans to “protect the new CKD model for segment C and commercial applications” this year. The C-class model that will be assembled locally should be the Corolla Cross, which will make its debut in Thailand in mid-2020. The company is also considering “introducing more CKD hybrid vehicles.” Corolla Cross has hybrid models, so Corolla Cross Hybrid (traditional non-plug-in hybrid) is a candidate for local assembly.
In addition to new products, UMWT will also rely on its internal Toyota Capital (Toyota Capital) and banks to seek “innovative financing solutions” as a means of growth. Other channels identified include e-commerce, in which Toyota plans to launch its own platform to complement the existing official stores on Lazada and Shopee. The company also intends to expand its customer base by identifying government fleet sales and used cars as potential growth areas.
Returning to Toyota’s 2021 mission, this is to regain the title of Honda’s largest non-local brand. This goal is predictable because there are not many markets (if any) in the world and Honda is above Toyota, the world’s highest-selling automaker.
Since Honda surpassed Toyota for the first time in 2015, Honda has been Malaysia’s best-selling foreign brand. It then reached 109,511 vehicles in 2017, which is the highest annual total ever for a non-local Malaysian brand.
Although Honda almost maintained the first place among non-state-owned vehicles last year, Honda’s sales in 2020 were 60,468 units, the lowest level since the duel with Nissan (2013). At the same time, Toyota sold 58,501 vehicles last year, a smaller decline compared with Honda. Since losing to Honda in 2015, Toyota has experienced a sharp decline. Since then, sales have been stable in the 60-70k range, unless there is a slight decline in 2020. When they finish the game side by side in 2020, it will all be happening this year-maybe the best Japanese team will win!
Did you know that Honda once had a duel with Nissan, while Toyota was completely on another plane and regularly released more than 100,000 sales? Follow us and follow the ups and downs of Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Mazda in the past ten years and see where they are now.(More in autofun: harga sienta)