Older car enthusiasts will know that Toyota started in the Philippines in 1962 under TMP’s predecessor, the Delta Motor Corporation of renowned basketball coach Dante Silverio.
Notable models from this period include the Corolla, Corona and Celica.
Following the local economic downturn and increasing political unrest after the August 1983 assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., the chief opponent of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Delta’s operations came to a halt on December 1983.
After the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution that deposed Marcos and elevated Senator Aquino’s widow Corazon Aquino as president, the new administration established the Car Development Program that helped Japanese carmakers resume their operations.
These included Toyota, which tied up with the late businessman George Ty to create TMP on August 1988. This was a joint venture that included the Toyota Motor Corporation, Mitsui & Co. and Metrobank, which was founded by Ty.
TMP today is majority-owned by the Ty family’s GT Capital Holdings Inc., with Alfred Ty serving as the carmaker’s local chairman.
Our little throwback done, let’s take a look at TMP’s five most memorable models.
The best-selling car nameplate in the world had been in the Philippines even before TMP existed.
But under the new Toyota administration, a new generation of Corollas with front-wheel drive came into the country. From the AE90 “Small Body” to the AE111 “Lovelife,” the Corolla was a consistent best-seller for its peerless reliability and practicality.
When the Toyota Corolla moved upmarket following the introduction of the Corolla Altis in the early 2000s, TMP needed a car that could cater to lower budgets.
The subcompact Toyota Vios was just the model for the job – even after 20 years, it has remained TMP’s top-seller because of its friendly driving characteristics, good fuel economy and legendary Toyota reliability.
The CARS Program is a successor to the first President Aquino’s Car Development Program.
Even after 20 years, the Toyota Hilux has remained high in the minds of pick-up buyers.
With an over-engineered frame, generous cargo capacity and go-anywhere 4x4 capability, the Hilux has become an icon in its own right for providing Filipinos with a pick-up truck that ticks all the right boxes.
Whether it’s used as a workhorse or as a status symbol, the Toyota Hilux will always have a place, anywhere in the Philippines.
In 2004, the venerable Revo was gone and in its place came one of TMP’s most iconic models in the 21st century.
Packing next-generation, common-rail-direct-injection turbodiesel power and a substantially more refined interior for seven passengers, the first-generation Toyota Innova was a huge hit, especially for Filipino families.
The popularity of the Innova has refused to wane, even with the introduction of the next-generation Toyota Zenix. In fact, TMP has decided to continue selling the Innova and the Zenix side-by-side.
Looks like everyone’s favorite “supercar photobomber” lives on in the era of electrification.
Which of these Toyota models do you love the most?
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An award-winning multimedia journalist, editor, and host for online and TV who has written in-depth stories on road safety and the Philippine elections. Outside of the media, VJ is an accomplished motorsports champion, English teacher, and dancer.