IT’S tops in the country’s multipurpose vehicle charts, but Toyota Motor Phils. (TMP) opts not to make it a stationary target as the company updates the Toyota Innova.
TMP’s second best-selling model (next to the Toyota Vios) now sports a new fascia that’s marked by a prominent, angular grille and a front bumper with trendier but softer-edged touches. New fog lamps and reflector garnish on the car’s tailgate complete the exterior’s makeover.
In the cabin, the Innova’s top-spec V variants get a touch-screen panel for its integrated audio and navigation system.
“In the spirit of Kaizen, we are committed to constantly improving and bringing new and exciting changes to delight our customers,” said TMP President Michinobu Sugata regarding the Innova’s changes. He also noted that the latest model is available only in Indonesia and the Philippines, but that “other countries are already following suit.”
The Innova retains its reputed engines; the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, diesel-fed lump that makes 100hp and 250Nm of torque when paired with a four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission (curiously, only 200Nm when bolted to a five-speed manual), and the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, gasoline-burning mill that’s rated at 134hp and 182Nm.
TMP said that since its local introduction, the Innova has been “warmly welcomed and adored” for its utility, comfortable ride and quality—factors that comprise the “Toyota Sure Advantage,” in corporate marketing-speak. In 2014 form, TMP assured the model comes with all the features each variant have to date been equipped with.
“Being locally manufactured in our Santa Rosa plant, the Innova clearly represents the lifestyle of the modern-day Filipino, which is a blend of being family-oriented and passionate towards life. With its cutting-edge look paired with Toyota Sure Advantage, it definitely gives Filipinos even more reason to love the new model,” Sugata said.
The Innova is sold in four variants, each of which counts different trim levels, and are available with a choice of seven colors. Prices start at P832,000 for the J variant, rise to P942,000 for the E variant, P1.058 million for the G variant, and top at P1.276 million for the V variant that’s fitted with a diesel engine and automatic gearbox, and painted with the optional white pearl color.
Sales leader still
TMP, which in 2013 logged its best annual volume result since it started in 1988 and emerged as the country’s top seller of vehicles for 12 years on the trot, has opened the year on track to keep its leadership.
In 2013, the company cornered 42 percent of the domestic market with sales reaching 75,587 units. In January, TMP sold 7,062 vehicles, a tally that’s 50-percent higher compared to the same month in 2013, according to Sugata. This means the company secured a 45.2-percent slice of the market in the first month of 2014, compared to its 38.3-percent share in January last year.
“This is only the first month of 2014, and I expect that as we move forward to the year, we will be able to sustain the same kind of performance due to more new model introductions and an increased market demand because of the positive economic outlook in the country,” Sugata said.