Will Toyota PH Sell the Toyota C-HR?
CARMUDI MAGAZINE PHILIPPINES and Carmudi.com.ph will be going to the 2018 Bangkok International Motor Show on March 28 and one vehicle we’re excited to see at the event is Toyota’s entry into the subcompact crossover market: the Toyota C-HR. We want to check it out for a number of reasons, chief of which are because it’s arguably the best-looking vehicle in its class and because it’s a Toyota, which means it’s as dependable as death and taxes.
However, the question remains: will Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sell it here?
Now, in November 2016, I reported in a broadsheet I was attached to then that sources within TMP shared that, while some of its officials want to bring the C-HR in, the higher-ups in the company either can’t or won’t. Apparently, the directive from the headquarters was that, since the Toyota RAV4 is a global model for the brand, TMP is obligated to sell it and can’t replace it or sell it side by side with the C-HR, even if the former isn’t the best-seller that it used to be.
In the same report, I mentioned that one remote possibility for the C-HR to be sold here was if it was assembled in Thailand because, in theory, the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement should either reduce or eliminate the tariff for it.
Now that the C-HR is being manufactured in Thailand and has actually gone on sale recently, I checked with my sources within TMP if the story has changed and, sad to say, it hasn’t. According to my sources, TMP “will not sell (it)” and that there’s “really no possibility” of the model ever making it to local showrooms.
Sad news, really, but given the Toyota C-HR’s selling price in Thailand ranging from THB 979,000 (PHP 1.630 million) for the entry-level 1.5-liter model to the range-topping HV hybrid variant at THB 1.159 million (PHP 1.929 million), it’s just as well since, at those price points, not only will it go up against the Toyota Fortuner, but the all-new fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 as well which will debut at the upcoming New York International Auto Show on March 28.