You are here: Home › Toyota: A well-made Japanese icon

Toyota: A well-made Japanese icon

   Jul 16, 2020
Credit : GMI Post

Since first appearing on the roads of Colombia in 1959, Toyota vehicles have become iconic symbols of Japanese heritage in the country.

ATC President Edge Egashira

More than 60 years later, with consumer demand rising and prosperity growing, the Japanese car giant launched its high-end SUV Land Cruiser this year, a clear vote of confidence in the domestic market prospects.

It was in 1967 when the world’s second-largest vehicle maker selected Bogota-based Distoyota to become its exclusive distributor in Colombia. Adapting to global economic changes and industry trends, Toyota has lived up to its reputation for producing durable vehicles fitted with the latest technology.

Following the acquisition of a 23 percent stake in state-owned carmaker Sofasa in 1989, Toyota rolled out locally assembled models in 1992 until the end of that partnership in 2008, when the Japanese giant formed Toyota de Colombia as the second authorized distributor in the country. Then, in another shift in strategy, it went into a joint venture with Distoyota called Automotores Toyota Colombia.

“My role as president of ATC goes beyond just strengthening Toyota’s presence in the country. It also involves acquiring deep knowledge of the local culture and a clear understanding of the Colombian market in order for us to implement the necessary actions to satisfy discriminating customers,” said ATC President Edge Egashira, a longtime employee of Toyota first sent to the country in 1991 to oversee its local production.

The compact crossover SUV RAV4 is among Toyota's best-selling and most iconic models around the world.

“The Colombian market for Toyota is very important because it is one of the brand’s oldest business partners in the region. In fact, Japan is the largest source of foreign investment from Asia-Pacific. The two countries hope to finalize and sign a free trade agreement before 2023,” added Egashira, who pointed out that the elimination of tariffs will make Japanese vehicles more affordable for the local consumer.

Following numerous assignments around the world, the Toyota executive returned to Colombia in 2017 on a mission to grow this market of 50 million consumers, majority of them happy to leave behind a tumultuous history and optimistic about the country’s long-term prospects. 

Since starting the new position nearly three years ago, Egashira has seen sales nearly double and market share grow from 3.7 percent to 6.1 percent within one year. Toyota has become the most popular car brand among vehicle dealers across the country. 

“Toyota’s dominance in all segments can only get better,” said Egashira, who plans to launch more accessible models, customer loyalty programs and corporate social responsibility activities in Colombia.

Business opportunities in Latin America for Japanese companies

Thanks to Texas' proximity to the emerging markets of Central and South America, several major Japanese companies with significant investments in L...

The Evolving Military Balance in the Taiwan Strait

Panelists discuss the risk of an armed conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan and how the United States should adapt its defense ...

Young Professionals Briefing: The Future of Democracy Around the World

Panelists discuss democratic backsliding, the rights of marginalized populations living under authoritarian regimes, and the prospects for and obst...

TWSE: Cultivating Growth

When gauging a country's economic prospects, analysts first study the historical performance of its financial market and activity that characterize...

Philippines' top EdTech startup secures Series A funding as it boosts reach and engagement

Edukasyon, the leading education technology platform in the Philippines, recently closed its Series A financing round, joined by Asian and European...

Japanese carmakers: A vital part of the U.S. economy

Over nearly four decades, Japanese-brand automakers have built up a vast American presence. It has made a cumulative manufacturing investment of ab...

Casino slot manufacturer attributes success to hard work, vision, and dedication to core values

Japanese gaming giant Konami has invested heavily in Las Vegas, setting up a huge head office in the city from where it develops and markets indust...

Reaffirming a commitment to create equal opportunity

Tracing its origins back more than a century, LHAG has nurtured a reputation for excellence and expertise in dispute resolution, international arbi...

Malaysia: A fresh start

Ten months since historic elections that rocked the nation's political landscape, Malaysia, once again headed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, i...

latest special Reports:

More Special Reports: more...

Upcoming Reports from

  • Global Media is your partner in reaching a powerful international audience through high-level economic reporting.

    Our ambition is to highlight under-reported developments and opportunities around the world, and allow leaders in these regions and sectors to take their message to the highest global level. We partner with top media to communicate with the world’s most powerful audiences. We specialize in communication and branding initiatives that help our clients effectively get their messages to their existing and potential partners. We achieve results for our clients by introducing them and their initiatives to an audience of elite international business and government leaders.

    Global Media Inc. is an independent media agency with offices in Hong Kong and Canada. GMI has more than a decade of experience in the writing, researching, and production of promotional country reports, with media partners from East Asia to North America. We have teams worldwide that develop country and thematic reports on the latest economic trends and developments.

    We are a media partner of Foreign Affairs,the United States’ most influential publication, published by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

    Nearly a century old, there isn’t a more influential or higher-reaching publication in the United States than Foreign Affairs. The journal is ranked #1 in influence by U.S. opinion leaders in a recent nationwide study conducted by Erdos and Morgan, the premier business-to-business research firm. Their findings place Foreign Affairs ahead of all media, both print and broadcast, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and The Washington Post.


    “We were extremely impressed with how efficient, well-coordinated, responsive and reliable the Global Media Inc. team was. We owe them a lot for their professionalism. We were very pleased with the outcome, and the article was very well-written. We hope to have an opportunity to work with Global Media Inc. again in the near future.� – Japan Airport Terminal Co. Ltd.
    “The Global Media team’s professionalism was excellent. Their team was great and always gave us the right suggestions and information. The product was excellent, and we were very happy to have such a great opportunity working with their excellent team.â€� – National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS)
    “We were honored to be chosen as one of the good universities in Japan. This article conveyed Seigakuin University’s educational ideals and the message from President Akudo. The advertisement was conspicuous and gave a good impression that Seigakuin nurtured students to contribute to world peace. We really appreciated what Global Media Inc. had did for us.â€� – Seigakuin University

    Whom we have featured:

    • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
    • Australian Foreign Affairs Minister (and former Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
    • Qatari Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed
    • Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yoshiaki Takaki
    • Taiwanese Foreign Minister Yang Chin-Tien
    • Taiwanese Finance Minister Lee Sush-Der
    • Taiwanese Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-Shiang
    • Taiwanese National Science Council Minister Lee Lou-Chuang,
    • Taiwanese Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Yeh Kuang-Shih
    • Taiwanese Political Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Lin Tsong-Ming
    • Indonesian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Dino Patti Djalal
    • Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Gita Wirjawan
    • Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III
    • Philippine Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

Join our newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.