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Toyota to start making next-gen Tamaraw in PH next year

Toyota to start making next-gen Tamaraw in PH next year


By Alden M. Monzon @AldenMonzonINQ

The Philippine unit of Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corp. said it will begin local production of its next generation multipurpose vehicle inspired by the Tamaraw model next year, with the company looking to invest P4.4 billion to resurrect the iconic vehicle that first plied Philippine roads in the 1970s.

Toyota Motor Corp. chair Akio Toyoda revealed this plan during the 35th anniversary celebration of the automotive giant’s local subsidiary where they also unveiled concept vehicles for the model.

“I am very pleased to say that in 2024, for the first time ever, the IMV (innovative international multipurpose vehicles) such as this, the next-generation Tamaraw, will be produced as [completely built units] right here in the Philippines at our Santa Rosa plant,” he said.

Toyota Motors Philippines first vice president Rommel Gutierrez told reporters on the sidelines of the event that production in their Laguna plant could begin by the middle or the third quarter of 2024, the same time when they will make it available to the local market as well.

“It will be in the same quarter because as early as now, we are already preparing the production line. And even the part makers, they have the design. So, they are already sourcing for that,” Guiterrez said.

Asked what the price range will be for the next-generation Tamaraw, the Toyota executive declined to give estimates but said that they want it to be affordable for micro, small and medium enterprises.

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Guiterrez added that they want the new model to also become the top choice for public utility vehicles, citing that it could be used as an ambulance, a patrol car or even as taxis.

The Toyota executive said that the new Tamaraw vehicle will also be using a conventional fuel engine, but said that they are open to the prospect of making it run on electricity or as a hybrid vehicle as well.“As you know, vehicle models today have hybrid variants of their own,” Guiterrez said.

He added that this new model is also targeted toward the local market, saying that they have no immediate plans to cater to overseas markets which may have the demand for it. To date, Toyota is the dominant car brand in the Philippines, with a nearly 46 percent share of the local automotive market. INQ