Sunday, August 18, 2019

Ex-Toyota Asia Pacific Exec Now Chairman of GT Capital's Auto Dealership Group


GT Capital is appointing ex-Toyota executive Mr. Vincente “Vince” Socco as Chairman of GT Capital Auto Dealership Holdings, Inc. or GTCAD, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GT Capital which serves as the dealership holding vehicle for the group.

The appointment, effective last Tuesday, August 13 was officially announced through a disclosure made to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and comes at an opportune time when the local automotive industry is recovering from last year’s sharp decline.

Mr. Socco brings close to 40 years of expertise in the automotive sector. He was appointed general affairs manager of Toyota’s Manila liaison office before being assigned in 1988 to Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP), where he rose through the ranks to become senior vice president (SVP) for marketing. In 2007, Mr. Socco was appointed SVP at Lexus Asia, concurrent with his role as an executive for country operations at Toyota Motor Asia Pacific (TMAP) in Singapore, the automaker’s regional office. Then, in 2014, he became TMAP’s general manager, reporting to Toyota’s global headquarters in Japan. He then returned to Singapore at his TMAP post in 2017 until his retirement in July 2019.

Mr. Socco’s appointment comes as GT Capital’s automotive brand, Toyota finished the first half of 2019 with a commanding 37.6 percent market share. Thanks to the introduction of vehicles such as the all-new Avanza, RAV4, Hiace, and GR Supra, retail sales for the Japanese carmaker are up to 73,454 units—up slightly from last year’s 73,136 units. They have also recorded their best monthly performance so far in June with 14,568 units sold.

In a separate SEC filing, Toyota’s consolidated revenues remain flat: 76.1 billion pesos in 2019, from 76.4 billion pesos in the same period last year, as does consolidated net income: 4.43 billion compared to 4.56 billion in 2018. Having said that, revenues for the second quarter alone surged 25 percent (P 42 billion) and earnings are up 44 percent (P 2.6 billion) due to an improvement in retail sales (though wholesale volumes are slightly down).

Moving to the second half of 2019, GT Capital expects Toyota to continue its strong momentum. It looks to end the year with 71 dealerships across the country, with plans to increase that number to 83 by the end of 2021.

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