In a recently released UMW Holdings Berhad corporate report to investors, the parent company of UMW Toyota Motor detailed its plans for its automotive business and shed light on its upcoming plans for 2021 – which includes at least three model introductions, starting with the Toyota Corolla Cross in Q2 of this year.
And if you already haven’t seen it, the first spyshots of the fully-imported Corolla Cross on Malaysian soil shows just how intensely Toyota is working to increase sales and its market share (which stands at 11.2 percent) having delivered 59,320 units in 2020.
This in hopes of regaining the No.1 spot as the non-national carmaker, a position Honda has (with great talent and acumen) held for six-years running, they managed 60,469 in 2020, so the two are not far off.
How does Toyota plan to overtake Honda?
At the centre of its strategy is a major deployment of new products starting with the Corolla Cross in just a few months. The Corolla Cross is a sorely needed as Toyota Malaysia has almost never had a product to take on the might of the Honda CR-V, this just might change in 2021.
Separately, the report sheds light on two more models – due in Q4 2021 – one sedan, and another, an exciting introduction of a Gazoo Racing (GR) model.
Given Toyota sells only three sedans; the Vios, Corolla, and Camry – the evidence would point to an updated version and/or new variants of the Camry since it’s the oldest model of the three.
The GR model, of course, raises more eyebrows; and given Toyota’s overall strategy revolves around beefing up its C-Segment offerings – our money is on the introducing the Corolla GR Sport sedan. The Corolla GR Sport is a jazzed-up version of the regular Corolla which adds exterior and interior equipment for a sportier look, along with snazzy looking alloys for more ‘street-cred’ and should complement the recently launched Vios GR-S nicely.
Expanding the model line-up
In addition to Toyota also has plans for “introduction of more CKD Hybrid vehicles moving forward” – this is also very big news since the company has not sold any Hybrid vehicles since the previous generation Camry 2.5L Hybrid was replaced by the current model. For a company that literally pioneered hybrid, this is a welcomed move.
Elsewhere, Toyota plan to make buying their cars easier – as it stands, they have spearheaded two superb ownership programs, namely EzBeli and Kinto One leasing, which will make their cars more accessible to the buying public. Toyota plans to have at least 20 percent of its sales to be financed through its Toyota Capital division so we can expect roughly 20,000 cars in 2021 to be registered under the EzBeli and Kinto One programs.
In addition to that, Toyota plans to increase its efforts in the online and e-commerce sphere via a bespoke Toyota buying platform on Shopee and Lazada, something other manufacturers have used to great effect in recent years.
The company’s final initiative includes expanding its reach in the government sectors through the sales of fleet vehicles, as well as through revitalising its used and pre-owned operations – something the company pioneered through its Toyota Topmark operations which unfortunately has received little attention in recent years. This has left the door wide open for company’s such as Proton and Perodua to enter with their own Pre-Owned initiatives.
Throughout 2020, the company introduced 7 new models, and the three already planned for 2021 should round off a comprehensive product salvo for Toyota in 2021.
Do you think they’ll turn the tables on Honda to become the No. 1 Non-National brand this year? Let us know in the comments.
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