Automotive Toyota

Published on December 16th, 2022 | by Sounder Rajen


The Long And Rich History Of Toyota In Thailand

And Toyota Thailand’s alternative to the BEV

Toyota Motor Thailand is now one of the biggest car markets in Thailand with an estimated 33 percent hold on the market and also the fourth highest volume production centre for the brand behind Japan, China and the U.S, but it wasn’t always like this, in fact, let’s take a look at Toyota’s long and storied history in Thailand.


In 1963, Toyota Motor Thailand was born with only a handful of employees. The company assembled cars with parts sent in from Japan and the Hilux and Corolla models were very popular. However, the domestic production capability was very low and this means the company’s sales volume was also low.

Moreover, ten years later, in 1972, Japanese import cars increased steadily in Thailand which led to widespread anti-Japan boycotts in the country and even Toyota Motor Thailand was affected. Luckily the company, under Mr. Yuki Togo at that time, managed to win back the hearts of the Thai people shortly after.

Toyota Motor Thailand then introduced the first car that was fully engineered and built in Thailand, the Soluna, which came right before the Asian Financial Crisis but the King of Thailand ordered one of these cars and the company used the proceeds to create the Ratcha-mong-kol Rice Company to help struggling farmers.


On top of that, when Toyota was facing recall issues in 2010 and had to President Toyoda had to testify in the U.S, the king of Thailand was the only world leader who expressed his belief in Toyota so clearly, the brand has a lot o be grateful for in Thailand and is part of why thee brand invests so much in the country.

One of these investments includes the new global Model Toyota produced in Thailand in 2002. This model was called the IMV model and unfortunately suffered massive delays which President Toyoda came to Thailand to deal with personally and the result of it was that the company released the Hilux Vigo on time.


Additionally, the Hilux Vigo ended up becoming known as the national car of Thailand and now in less than a year, Toyota will release the IMV 0 concept which aims to be affordable and innovative. The IMV 0 will not be a battery electric vehicle (BEV) as Toyota does not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach.

This is why the IMV 0 concept will be built to serve the real-life needs of its customers. President Toyoda is sticking to his guns on this despite the media often criticizing Toyota for not committing 100 percent to BEVs, but Toyota wants to be more realistic about when society can adopt BEVs 100 percent.


What do you guys think about this? I agree with President Toyoda as I feel not every country in the world is ready to fully adopt BEVs and I think Toyota is very smart for the decisions it is making.

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