SMALL CAR, BIG SELLER

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toyota-wigo20140520THE Philippine arm of Japanese carmaker Toyota recently announced its smallest vehicle made a strong presence in its first full month of being sold in the country as it grabbed more than a quarter of its segment in March.

Toyota Motor Phils. (TMP) said that 627 units of the new Wigo were sold in March, taking an almost 30-percent share of the entry-level hatchback segment. In April, the model’s sales even rose to 634 units, according to TMP.

“We are deeply grateful for the very quick and positive response of the market towards our newly launched Wigo,” said TMP President Michinobu Sugata. “This overwhelming sales performance is a testament to the trust that customers have for our product.”

The TMP chief noted that one of the reasons customers are choosing the Wigo is

because of the Toyota Sure Advantage, which is also offered across the company lineup. On top of Toyota’s quality and other known features, the Wigo is the most affordable Toyota to date, making it more appealing to the Filipino public.


“We are certain that this mini hatchback will continue to be well received by people who want a car that is easy to own and easy to drive, therefore making it definitely easy to enjoy,” Sugata said.

TMP had earlier cited that the country’s demand for low-cost hatchbacks has exploded from 5,861 units in 2011 to 15,516 units in 2013—or more than a 200-percent growth. That means that from a 3.6-percent slice of the total industry sales of 165,000 vehicles in 2011, low-cost hatchbacks comprised 7.4 percent of the 208,500 vehicles sold in the country last year.

TMP noted that low-cost hatchbacks’ affordable price is the major factor in their recent rise in popularity, which comes amid strong economic growth in the country and the improved spending power of consumers.

The Wigo—launched in February—is aimed at first-time car buyers. It comes in three variants that are priced at P448,000 (for the 1.0 E MT), P499,000 (1.0 G MT) and P534,000 (1.0 G AT).

Strong start
Earlier reports indicated that TMP has surpassed the 8,000-unit mark in March after it sold 8,840 vehicles—the highest any manufacturer in the country has ever registered in a single month.

In April, the company sold 8,102 vehicles, allowing it to take a 45-percent share of the market. Along with the Wigo, credit for TMP’s results goes to the Toyota Vios, with 1,982 examples of the subcompact sedan sold.

TMP’s year-to-date sales in April reached 30,930 units—a 32-percent rise. Its passenger car tally for the first four months of 2014 totaled 11,625 units while the number of commercial vehicles sold was 19,305 units.

The company said its growth was strengthened by the introduction of the all-new Toyota Corolla Altis, updated Innova and the Wigo, which were all launched within the first quarter of the year.

WITH A REPORT FROM RUBEN D. MANAHAN 4TH

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