Published on July 15th, 2021 | by Amirul Mukminin0
UMW Toyota Motor Feeling The Effects Of Prolonged Lockdown
The company hopes for the restrictions to be relaxed to allow them to operate
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Movement Control Order (MCO) have affected just about every industry in the country, including automotive. UMW Toyota Motor, in particular, is feeling the heat of the extended lockdown as they experience sharp drop in sales due to the closure of all Toyota and Lexus showrooms nationwide.
President of UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT), Ravindran K. said while the company still has an encouraging order bank for various models, it is hoped that the government can ease the restrictions of the lockdown to allow them to operate in a limited and safe way.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor Akio Takeyama warned that prolonged restrictions can have various effects on its business as well as the auto industry.
Firstly, it makes planning for recovery difficult. Secondly, delayed vehicle production can affect not just passenger vehicles but also commercial vehicles, which are essential for transportation of goods around the country.
This, in turn, could force their overseas customers to look for new suppliers as they cannot have their own production delayed due to shortage of parts from Malaysia, thus impacting the country’s economy as a whole.
On top of that, Takeyama said that the prolonged shut down of its manufacturing plant could also cause a setback on Toyota Motor Corporation’s plan to manufacture hybrid electric vehicles in the country.
Here’s the press release with more information:
With the ongoing Movement Control Order which began on 1 June 2021, many business sectors have had to remain closed. This has had an impact and in the auto sector, new vehicle sales for the whole industry have dropped tremendously in the month of June.
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 good of the country, it has presented a challenge for the company.
“We still have an encouraging order bank for the various models. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that the restrictions of the lockdown can be eased 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.
While the showrooms remain closed, the public 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 available in Malaysia and the attractive financing schemes 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 provide 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.
Selected aftersales support still available
Selected UMW Toyota Motor Service Centres continue to operate according to the provisions by the State and local authorities, 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. While advising customers to contact the service centres to make an appointment first, he assures customers that when they were at the facility, all the necessary measures are in place for their protection as well as the protection of the employees serving them.
Effects of prolonged restrictions
“While the government has formulated a National Recovery Plan (NRP) in four phases, we are still in Phase 1, which is the most restrictive. The current situation also makes planning for recovery difficult,” said Akio Takeyama, Deputy Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor.
Takeyama said that prolonged restrictions on vehicle production can have an impact not just on passenger vehicles but also commercial vehicles, which are essential for transportation of goods around the country.
“Furthermore, 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 as they cannot have their own production delayed due to shortage of parts from Malaysia. This could have an impact on Malaysia’s economy as a whole if export business declines,” he added.
Meanwhile, the company who had earlier this month announce its investment to further the initiatives for carbon neutrality through the manufacturing of Hybrid Electric Vehicles, indicated that the prolonged shut down of its manufacturing plant could also impact such plans.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Festival
This year sees the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Festival (TGR Festival) being run for the fourth consecutive season. 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 are on hold. 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.