Former Toyota PH marketing boss looks back on company’s history — Feature…

25 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
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Former Toyota PH marketing looks back on company’s

On August 3rd, 2013, Motor Philippines . the undisputed No. 1 car in the country, is marking its 25th (although the big celebration will two days earlier). We’re a lot of noise from the Japanese in the coming days, weeks, months. Make no mistake it: This is a huge milestone for and they will spare to let us know about it.

We expect, for to be supplied with a press detailing the company’s history, and too, should expect to this in the motoring section of favorite broadsheet. But we’re none of that corporate Instead, we turn to the one man who is most to talk about Toyota Philippines.

We’re referring to Filipino executive Vince . now the executive vice president of Motor Asia Pacific . the highest-ranking Pinoy in the Toyota and he’s the carmaker’s chief weapon in the region. Frankly if the other brands hope to a fighting chance against all they have to do is pirate guy—assuming they can. But can’t, because Socco and bleeds Toyota.

A product of the of the Philippines, Socco joined Motor Corporation as a marketing in 1979. Delta Motor, by the Silverios, was the precursor of Toyota Philippines. Its most popular perhaps, is forming a professional team that had the likes of Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz and Fernandez. In 1984, when was already a marketing services Delta Motor had to close up due to the unstable political climate at the time.

But Vince remained in the of Toyota Motor Corporation, as the marketing and general affairs of its Manila representative office.

In Toyota formally came to the Philippines, and Socco was the main in the new company’s establishment. He was vehicle manager from 1988 to first vice president for from 1994 to 1995, and senior vice president for from 1995 to 2001. And he joined Toyota Motor Pacific—but not before almost poached by Ford, which went after him when he TMP (we can now only guess what have happened had he become Philippines’ president).

At TMAP, Vince was general for marketing services from to 2005, vice president for planning from 2005 to and then senior vice from 2007 to 2012. He was executive vice president in 2012.

In light of Toyota Philippines’ 25th anniversary, we Vince Socco to look on the company’s history.

What you doing before Toyota back to the Philippines?

I was also with Toyota. After Motor Corporation—the first of Toyota in the Philippines—ceased operations, I the Toyota representative office in We were charged with care of the after-sales service of our customers. We could not simply our customers to fend for themselves; it was on us to take care of them in the period before a new distributor be established. It was the right thing to do.

How did you about the comeback?

I was invited to the start-up management team for Motor Philippines when for its establishment were concluded in It was a day I had been looking forward to for three years. Despite all the and economic turmoil that the was experiencing in the years following the of Delta Motor, I always that it was not so much if Toyota return, as when . When the came, I signed up without a thought.

What were the challenges that Toyota faced when it returned to the

The biggest challenge was, of getting the start-up team After all, without right people—there was nothing we could get done. Although a few of us who invited to join the team had worked with Delta that experience was not the overriding It was more important to recruit members who shared the basic of Toyota and who were committed to our of providing the best-quality cars and sales experience to our customers. Senior was deeply involved in the process. In our president at the time interviewed and every potential candidate to the fit with our company philosophy. said it was an excessive process; we it was about being thorough and things right from the

Another challenge was obtaining the government approvals to start up our and operations. Considering the fluidity of and political circumstances at the time, was not an easy task. The new government of Cory Aquino was trying its to establish a clear economic But in those times, there was a lot of to and fro. Eventually, persistence and an commitment from both and our local partner, Metrobank, won the

Next, of course, was getting started. That involved the factory back in running and up to Toyota quality standards. It was a order considering that the facility had been mothballed for five years. Literally, of sweat had to be shed, swarms of and insects had to be eliminated, and great had to be exercised in handling hazardous that were left in disrepair. All this with no and water on-site.

Then we had to ramp up our hiring to establish our And, of course, we had to establish our network. All in a short time. Motor Philippines started in August 1988, and we had planned to our assembly and commercial operations by 1989. These were the challenges we faced at the onset of comeback.

What were the cars that Toyota in upon its return to the Philippines?

we opened for business in 1988, we had the Corolla, the Crown and the Liteace. we got the Corona and, ultimately, the of the famed workhorse utility the Tamaraw FX, in 1991.

What was the first Toyota dealership? And how did you the dealers?

The first dealers to their doors to the public in 1989 were Toyota (now known as Toyota and Toyota Quezon Avenue. were followed by Toyota in April and then Toyota in September. In the recruitment of dealers, we had to be firm in our selection process to the integrity of our process and avoid our Toyota standards. Capability, and good moral character our basic criteria. Previous in the automotive industry was not a prerequisite. We for candidates who exhibited a clear and sense of ownership, entrepreneurship and involvement in the business.

It was an intensive process that interviewing with a panel by no less than our then Mr. Masao Mitake. There hundreds of unsolicited applications. We avoided advertising for interested because we felt that that were deeply about obtaining a Toyota would find us on their own

How long did it take Toyota to be the No. 1 car in the local market by virtue of

We started sales in 1989. By we took leadership in the market. It was a milestone that rocked our and a post we kept for eight years until 1997. In in June 1990, we hit an all-time share of 49.1% in a single record that stands to day. We had no illusions about back into pole for at least three years. It was a humbling experience then we convincingly won back the vote of the motoring public with nine months under our It was pure inspiration for the team.

was the one vehicle model that, in opinion, truly cemented reputation in the Philippine market as the No. 1 car

The Tamaraw FX, no doubt. Although the 16-valve was all the rave at our launch, it was the FX that brought Toyota in a real big way. It opened the the garage—of many Filipino to Toyota. The Tamaraw had been the king of Philippine roads Delta ceased operations. So, we brought it back in 1991 in its form, it was welcomed back much affection. And when we the wagon version in 1993—on the of our hugely successful Darna campaign—sales went through the After the Tamaraw FX, there was no back; Toyota was here to The FX suffix found its way into the Tagalog language to mean a of public transport from to point. And FX depots sprouted the metropolitan area. It was our defining To this day, many FX vehicles still roam the of the Philippines. Of course, its successor, the has continued to remain as the most minivan in the market today.

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And how did Toyota’s sales performance in the compare with those in markets in the region?

Toyota Philippines sold 9,434 in its first 10 months in 1989. compared with Thailand’s and sales of around 50,000 each in that year. In in TMP’s first full Toyota sales practically to 19,500 units, and in 1992, the outsold Malaysia to become the largest market in the ASEAN. TMP continued to grow year year until its peak of units in 1996, by which Toyota sales in Thailand and had soared to almost 170,000 and units, respectively.

Then the financial crisis happened. while Thailand, Indonesia and recovered to pre-crisis levels in years’ time, the Philippines to languish. It took 11 years, 2007, before Toyota break past its 1996 Since 2007, however, Motor Philippines has set consecutive new records every year, over 65,000 units year. In comparison, Thailand exceeded 500,000, Indonesia 400,000, and Malaysia broke the mark.

This year, as TMP its 25th anniversary, Toyota are on track for yet another all-time of over 70,000 units. brings it closer to Malaysia and on to break 100,000 units than later.

When came back, was putting another professional basketball ever a consideration?

No. There was so on our plate. Although we were aware of the popularity of basketball Filipinos and their fondness for the Toyota team, we simply had more compelling priorities at the

What do you feel whenever you see executives of competing brands who used to work for Toyota Philippines? The joke is that of the current industry bosses from Toyota University, and they learned personally Professor Vince Socco.

I am thrilled to meet any of our former members—those who moved on to other companies, but more so those still remain with Motor Philippines. I never any limits to what our people achieve, and I am delighted that of them have achieved success, in Toyota or wherever paths have led. My joy is to know that we were able to work together hopefully, that I was able to in my own small way in setting them on life journey. In fact, I learned a lot from my team I am convinced that I am a better for having worked with When we meet, we never to talk about our times at Toyota—both happy and not-so-happy It’s all part of who we are today.

How Toyota maintain market not just in the Philippines, but in practically the world?

I believe that our through the years—in the Philippines and the world—is a result of our ability as an to keep true to who we are. We been accused of building styled vehicles, of being too to innovate, of not having enough and flair. I say, sticks and We listen to the one voice that matter—our customer. The vehicles we the services we provide—we do so by deeply and understanding what our customers In our world, the customer is our true To do good by them is what us to grow with them.

first is not just a catchphrase for is a truism. And each of our members and acts on this truth. We aim to build ever-better cars. with a solid heritage and for quality, durability and reliability. We to provide an ever-better purchase and experience, one customer at a time.

Toyota has been the No. 1 car brand in the for so long. What’s the next big for the company?

As trite as it may sound, it be more of the same! The same in the that we will forever true to our vision of building cars and an ever-better purchase and experience. The same in the sense we will remain committed to not building the best-quality cars but in helping to build a nation. The in the sense that we will aim to exceed expectations and be rewarded a smile.

With Toyota’s 76 of experience as an automotive manufacturer, and Motor Philippines’ own 25 years us, the future can only be better and and more exciting. We are focused on the way to the future of mobility by enriching around the world with the and most responsible ways of people. We aim to dial up the fun-to-drive not only in our cars but in life explore the joys of mobility and and adventure. The 86. The all-new Vios. Our SURE Advantage. The Vios race. The new amazing automobiles Lexus. Our pioneering and leading in hybrids. Breakthroughs in alternative technology.

Yes, tomorrow be a better day.

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