The car industry without Brazil is not possible

Toyota pide que Milei no rompa con el Mercosur: "La industria automotriz sin Brasil es inviable"

Toyota in Argentina will start in 2024 the industrial launch of a new model, the minibus Hiace, and its directors are waiting for the steps of the new Government to define new investments for the period starting on December 11, and to solve the million debt which they have accumulated in the last year and a half in exchange stocks of foreign suppliers.

They are not the only topics on the Japanese automaker’s agenda Today it explains 30% of the cars produced in Argentina. The most pressing issue for Toyota managers is that the government of Javier Miley continuation of the trade policy with Brazil. “Thinking about a car industry in Argentina that is far from Brazil this is not possible“, he declared Gustavo Salinas president of Toyota Argentina.

The executive, who has been in charge of the subsidiary since May 2022, presented two redesigned versions of the pickup on Wednesday Hilux a model produced in the factory in Zárate and which since its relaunch in 2004 has undergone two million units.

This year alone, Toyota will ship 180,000 Hilux and its “all-terrain” version from Zárate, the SW4. In general, almost 40,000 to local dealerships y the other 140,000 were exported to 23 countries from Latin America: 65,000 to Brazil and the remaining 75,000 to other 22 countries.

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“There is a close relationship, dialogue and agreement with Brazil This is important for the industry. This industry is united in terms of complementarity between Argentina and Brazil, one cannot function without the other. I don’t see Brazil doing well without Argentina, we have to have a common path,” said Salinas Clarion, during a press conference. “Now, the common road This does not mean that all are more equal. But there must be agreements with clear rules to determine how to govern ourselves from now on. ”

-What will you answer when headquarters asks you about December 11?

-We tell them the truth, that We will have to wait until December 11 for an answer. You can’t change any plan now, because if on December 11 another measure appears that you didn’t think about now and you have to check it again. So we continued with the same plan we had planned.

Toyota announced in mid-June the industrial launch of a new model, the Hiace minibus, with the minister. Sergio Massa. It’s been an amazing ad ever since the third model in more than 25 years in the history of Toyota in the country, but with a lower investment (US$ 50 million, vs more than 1 billion dollars invested in various stages of Hilux).

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But the most surprising thing is that Minister Massa announced at the same time new automotive systems which requires an integration of local parts lower rather than the 40% required by automotive companies to be considered a Mercosur vehicle. Precisely, the Hiace will start production in January with an integration “between 15% and 20%,” as confirmed by Salinas this Wednesday.

“It’s a regime for all automotive companies which serves to launch small models at the local level and similar to those already in force Brazil and Uruguay said Salinas.

The manager, who also has Toyota’s commercial management for the entire region, said that they plan for 2024 a local market in Argentina “as it is now”, which is around 430,000 patents. Salinas said that sales of small cars, which are tied to credit, will continue to slow at least in the first period.

“I don’t know when, but we should return to a market of 700,000 or 800,000 units, but for now we continue to think of a market similar to this year, which will close 430,000 units. I think it’s a good year for agriculture, for energy and I see that the demand for commercial vehicles will continue, but I see that in the demand for cars. “We have difficulties”.

How does debt for exports affect them?

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-It affects us like everyone else. It’s long and it’s something that needs to be addressed. Debt is not only the responsibility of the car companies but also of all suppliers. To provide operational continuity, it is not possible for someone to continue to supply you with parts indefinitely. So this is one of the issues we want to see how it can be resolved. The biggest risk It is not the financial cost but the continuous supply.

Do you have any contact with the new government?

– We are not. Until we have a confirmed team, we don’t see much sense in asking for time from people who now have to make relevant decisions. But from now on we understand that as an industry and because of the role that Toyota has in Argentina a path of dialogue is necessary, communication and explanation of what we see in the future, which will contribute to some extent. The industry has many challenges looking ahead. There is change, investment needs for all electrified technology and it is important to have an industrial and sustainable mobility policy with clear rules. And based on what that means, see how we work. And we must somehow dialogue for that.