With the ongoing Movement Control Order, which began on 1 June 2021, many businesses and sectors have remained closed, but UMW Toyota would like to remind its customers that although they might be down, they are not entirely out.
Down but not out
Commenting on the situation, President of UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT), Ravindran K., said that the continued closure of all Toyota and Lexus showrooms nationwide meant that no business could be conducted; whilst at the same time manufacturing of vehicles including the supply chain and logistic efforts have also come to a halt.
While accepting that the Government has had to act for the country's good, it has presented a challenge for the company. "We still have an encouraging order bank for the various models. Nevertheless, we hope that the lockdown restrictions can be eased soon to allow us to operate in a limited and safe way. Naturally, we will abide by all Standard Operating Procedures, as we have during the past year," he said.
For those who are still interested in purchasing a Toyota or Lexus, for that matter, they can still obtain detailed information about Toyota and Lexus vehicles at their respective websites – toyota.com.my and lexus.com.my.
They can find out about the models, and the many flexible financing schemes available tailored for different requirements. Bookings can also be made online.
Ravindran K. reminded customers of the exemption of Sales & Service Tax (SST) which is extended until the end of 2021. The exemption covers both locally-assembled and imported Toyota and Lexus models and provides meaningful savings.
"We encourage customers to make their bookings online as we can then plan production at our two assembly plants to minimize waiting time when the restrictions are lifted, to enable customers to enjoy the current financial incentives," he added.
For current Toyota and Lexus customers, the company would also like to remind them that Selected UMW Toyota Motor Service Centres continue to operate according to the State and local authorities' provisions to ensure that vehicle owners can obtain assistance in emergencies.
24/7 assistance is available by calling the Toyota and Lexus Helplines at 1-800-888- 247 and 1800-225-3987, respectively.
"Across the nation, customers can still obtain emergency assistance and selected aftersales services for their vehicles," said Ravindran K. He did, however, advise customers to contact the service centres first to make an appointment as this will give them time to ensure that all the necessary measures are in place for their protection as well as the safety of the employees serving them.
The effects of the prolonged restriction
Deputy Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor, Akio Takeyama, said that prolonged restrictions on vehicle production could impact passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles, which are essential for transporting goods around the country.
"Furthermore, the export business will be affected as well as our subsidiaries export a substantial amount of automotive components as part of Toyota's global supply chain. If this situation continues for long, we are concerned that our overseas customers may look for new suppliers. They cannot have their production delayed due to a shortage of parts from Malaysia. This could have an impact on Malaysia's economy as a whole if export business declines," he added.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, the company just announced its vast investment to further the initiatives for carbon neutrality through Hybrid Electric Vehicles' manufacturing, indicating that its manufacturing plant's prolonged shutdown could also impact such plans.
Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival unfortunately on hold
This year saw the fourth consecutive season of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Festival (TGR Festival). The event has grown in popularity and scale over the years, with the highlight being the Vios Challenge which is the only one-make race in Malaysia.
"It is unfortunate that the ongoing pandemic and strict MCO conditions do not allow running of public events. This includes motorsports so the fourth season of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Festival (TGR Festival) and Vios Challenge is on hold. However, when we ran the exciting first round on March 2 at the Sepang International Circuit, we were looking forward to the next two rounds as well as the introduction of the GAZOO Racing Vios Sprint Cup and GAZOO Racing Enduro Cup," said Takeyama, who is also Chief Motorsports Officer of GAZOO Racing Malaysia.
"Let us all do our part and pray that the number of COVID-19 cases quickly reduces, and the government will be able to relax the regulations to allow public events," he said.