With the ongoing Movement Control Order (MCO) 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. 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.
Lexus and Toyota showrooms throughout Malaysia have to remain closed, which has meant that no sales can be conducted. “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.
Online showrooms and booking available
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.
Mr. Ravindran 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 provides 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.
Toyota and Lexus owners can still get help in emergencies as support services are still allowed to operate 24/7. Aftersales support still available
Selected UMWT service centres continue to operate according to the provisions by the state and local authorities. Vehicle owners can therefore obtain assistance in emergencies. For assistance at any time, owners can call the Toyota and Lexus Helplines at 1-800-888- 247 and 1-800-225-3987, respectively.
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.
Mr. 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.
Some of the parts which are made in Malaysia and supplied to local assembly plants as well as exported to factories in other factories assembling Toyota vehicles. “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 warned.
The prolonged situation could also impact progress with regard to the company’s initiatives for carbon neutrality through the manufacturing of hybrid electric vehicles. This was announced earlier in the month and will see UMWT making a RM270 million investment at its assembly plant in Selangor.
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.
Only the first round of the fourth season of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Festival’s Vios Challenge could be held so far. “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 Mr. 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.
Toyota and Lexus owners assured of assistance and support during FMCO
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