UMW Toyota sees future in hybrids

  • Auto
  • Monday, 14 Sep 2020

“Earlier, we had launched the Toyota Camry Hybrid. But by next year, we would have one more hybrid model, ” its president Ravindran Kurusamy (pic) told StarBiz.

PETALING JAYA: UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd is planning to launch more completely knocked down (CKD) or locally assembled hybrid vehicles in the near future, as it believes this is the future of the industry in Malaysia.

“This is the area where we would like to concentrate on, moving forward.

“Earlier, we had launched the Toyota Camry Hybrid. But by next year, we would have one more hybrid model, ” its president Ravindran Kurusamy (pic) told StarBiz.

UMW Toyota said it hopes that the government would start viewing hybrid cars as a more specialised class of vehicle technology.

“In the long run, we are planning for more hybrids.

“We hope the government will not just view them as normal energy-efficient vehicles, ” its marketing director Mohd Shamsor Mohd Zain said.

In this respect, the company hopes the government will continue providing incentives to develop the hybrid market in Malaysia.

“We are working with the government to support the hybrid industry with more incentives to make it more competitive.

“We hope the government recognises hybrid technology as a step towards vehicle electrification, ” Shamsor added.

“The total Toyota DNA has a strong belief in hybrids.

“It is a technology we see especially relevant in countries like Malaysia, ” he said.

Meanwhile, UMW Toyota said that its sales continue to see a pickup from the troughs of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It has not fully recovered yet.

“We have been lucky as the government came up with a sales and services tax (SST) exemption for the industry. So this is helping us and demand is extremely good, ” Ravindran said.

“Now, we just have to deliver (the cars) and we hope the government will extend the period for the sales tax exemption, which is until the end of this year, ” he added.

Moving forward, UMW Toyota believes the car industry will recover in tandem with an expected recovery in the economy.

“The Malaysian Automotive Association has revised its latest 2020 total industry volume from 607,000 to 470,000 post-movement control order.

“But we do believe the economy will recover and people’s buying power will improve, ” Ravindran said.

In line with this, the company has adjusted its sales techniques to maintain a strong market share.

“This is to also ensure we stay ahead with a competitive edge.

“One thing that Covid-19 has demonstrated clearly is that the future is digitally-led.

“At UMW Toyota, we are forging forward in this direction, ” he said.

“The solutions are aimed at benefiting our customers.

“Some of the efforts are through the online showroom, digital mall and with cashless transactions, ” he added.

UMW Toyota had recently also completed its transfer of operations to its dealers to streamline its business and increase operational efficiencies.

“With the changing environment, different approaches are needed. Our dealers today are well established and successful and able to move to the next level.

“This restructuring allows Toyota to increase intensity towards high value added upstream activities such as product development, marketing and dealer network support, ” Ravindran said.

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