Toyota sees a 'bright future' from 2021
Toyota Motor Thailand expects a "bright future" for the Thai automotive industry may begin in 2021 though the year started with a new Covid-19 outbreak as the Japanese car maker sets an ambitious target of 15-23% growth in sales, with its environmentally-friendly campaign to play an important role in stimulating new purchases.
Among its marketing plans is a move to awaken prospective buyers to all types of electric vehicles -- battery electric vehicles (BEV), hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) -- all of which, together with other efforts to reduce pollution, will help Toyota complete its goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 90%, compared with the level in 2010, said Toyota Motor Thailand president Noriaki Yamashita, referring to Toyota's 2050 environmental commitment.
"We expect a bright future will start from now on," Mr Yamashita said, lauding the government for its control of the Covid-19 spread last year which dented domestic car sales during the lockdown period. Though the virus has come back, "we believe situation will be getting better," he said.
Like major car manufacturers, Toyota saw its 2020 sales dive by 26.5% to 244,316 units from 2019.
Exports last year also dropped by 18.7% to 215,277 units year-on-year.
It managed to command a 30.8% market share, the highest in total car sales, due mainly to its introduction of new models.
With the pandemic situation expected to calm down, Mr Yamashita is optimistic about sales in 2021.
The company expects to sell between 280,000 and 300,000, a 15-23% growth, with exports believed to increase by 18% to 254,000 units, from 2020.
Total car sales in the country should increase by 7-14% to 850,000–900,000 units in 2021, it said.
To strengthen its environmental protection efforts, Mr Yamashita said, it is working with allies to better manage used batteries from EVs under the 3R (reuse, rebuild, and recycle) scheme.