Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has something up its sleeve for June 15, 2020, as the Japanese brand will be holding its first-ever online launch event in the country. As to what this new “product” might be is still a mystery. It could be a facelifted vehicle, a whole new model, or a new feature that will help its customer base more easily adapt to the “new normal.” Without further ado here are our guesses at least vehicle wise as to what TMP has in store for its upcoming online launch.
Facelifted Fortuner or Hilux
First on our list of guesses is that Toyota Philippines could be launching facelifted versions of either the Hiluxor the Fortuner. Both vehicles have been on the market for quite some time now and are both prime candidates for a mid-cycle refresh. Toyota Thailand has already teased a launch date with both nameplates set to make their refreshed debut on June 4, 2020. While it does take some time for models from Thailand to reach the Philippines it's still a possibility.
Toyota Wigo facelift
Back in March of 2020, Toyota Indonesia announced that it would be selling the facelifted version of the Japanese brand’s small hatchback. While the upgrades done to the vehicle were primarily cosmetic, it could help bring a more youthful look to one of Toyota’s older models in the Philippines. The facelifted Toyota Wigo now comes with a new front grille, a new bumper, and a new set of tail lights as well. The introduction of the updated small hatchback could be Toyota’s response to the “new normal” as small cars seem to be the way forward for automotive brands. Current statistics show that car buyers are now opting to downsize instead of buying bigger vehicles, the move to update the Wigo could be favorable for Toyota moving forward.
The newest generation of the Toyota Yaris was launched last year and has been on sale for several months now. The current version of the vehicle available in the Philippines was launched in 2013 making it a viable candidate for a facelift as its brother the Vios has already gotten one. What the new Yaris brings to the table is a possibility of a hybrid hatchback into the country. As of now only the Corolla Altis hybrid and the Prius are the only options available from the Japanese brand if you want a vehicle with electric capabilities. Adding the Yaris hybrid into the lineup and pricing it competitively could spark interest in the hatchback segment for the Japanese brand. Even if Toyota Philippines does not bring in the hybrid version the addition of the new Toyota New Global Architecture-based Yaris will be a more than welcomed model into the local lineup.
Like its platform siblings, the Fortuner and Hilux the Innova too is at the right age for a mid-cycle facelift. While details about a possible update to the model are still vague there still is a high chance that Toyota Philippines could be planning to launch it soon. This means, however, that the Japanese brand will have to retool its Santa Rosa factory in order to accommodate the new face of the MPV.
What could most likely happen
While the other options are tempting it would work greatly in Toyota Philippines favor to bring in the refreshed Wigo. Given the new trend of opting for smaller means of personal transport a refreshed look for the Japanese brand’s small hatchback could be a step in the right direction. With its affordable price tag, small form factor, and features the refreshed Wigo could easily compete against the other newer budget friendly offerings on the market such as the Suzuki S-Presso.
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