Caspian Energy CEO: Devaluation of manat occurred in Azerbaijan in February. The latest data also indicates strong reduction of import of vehicles to Azerbaijan. How did these factors influence over the activity of TOYOTA BAKU? What measures do you undertake in order to mitigate their influence?
Mustafa Abbasbeyli, General Director of Toyota Baku: To our regret, there are very few measures that we can take advantage of. The only thing we are able to do is to optimize expenditures. It is what we are doing now.
CEO: How did all this affect the pricing?
Mustafa Abbasbeyli: The change of conditions of credit allocation from banks in February 2014 was the first to influence over the price adjustment and the volume of sales. Then, the ban for import of vehicles, not meeting the Euro-4 standards into Azerbaijan, was imposed in April 2014. The rate of excise duties for light vehicles imported to the republic was increased as early as the beginning 2015. So, later in February the devaluation occurred. The prices for vehicles have certainly been increased, thus, the volume of sale has fallen down. But the market has been stabilized and we even started making serious discounts.
CEO: Could you please call the share of the automobile market of Azerbaijan that TOYOTA accounts for?
Mustafa Abbasbeyli: It makes 8-12%. Most of it falls to the share of TOYOTA BAKU.
CEO: Which car brand is a competitor of TOYOTA both worldwide and in Azerbaijan?
Mustafa Abbasbeyli: TOYOTA is the largest producer of vehicles in the world. In 2014 TOYOTA sold over 10 mln vehicles all over the world. It has been a record in the automobile industry. Accordingly, the results in Azerbaijan are good as well. Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai are considered the competitors of TOYOTA.
CEO: A year ago you opened an official center TOYOTA in Ganja. How beneficial is it?
Mustafa Abbasbeyli: Ganja center is providing many types of services. It includes sale of vehicles, spare parts and service maintenance. Ganja is a big regional center. Therefore, the launch of business in this city is certainly beneficial for our company.
CEO: TOYOTA Club is famous enough. What is the key of its success?
Mustafa Abbasbeyli: Other automobile companies have clubs as well. Those are the clubs representing interests of drivers possessing a certain brand of an automobile. We took a different step. The members of our club have discounts for services that our partner companies provide. Together with Standard Bank we created a co-brand credit card. Standard Bank provides credits to the members of the club. So, they also enjoy considerable discounts when paying via a card.
CEO: How did you join this company?
Mustafa Abbasbeyli: I graduated from the KhazarUniversity in 2000. Later, I studied for master degree at the faculty of law at AnkaraUniversity. After returning to Baku, I took a post-graduate course and got a PhD in law. At the same time, I became a member of the Bar and International college of advocates. In the meantime, I started working for Standard Insurance where my last position was a Deputy Chairman of the Board. At the same time, I became a head of the legal committee of the Azerbaijan Insurers Association. I have been participating in certain campaigns as a member of the supervisory board. About a year ago I was invited to TOYOTA Baku. To say frankly, it took me long to think over this proposal. But after all, I decided to change the working place.
CEO: How long have you been found of cars?
Mustafa Abbasbeyli: I got my driving license at the age of 18. Since then I have been behind the wheel. Daewoo Nexia was the first car I bought in 1995 when they were imported to Azerbaijan in rather big amounts. My present company car is Toyota Avalon.
CEO: Considering the hot schedule of your activity, did you manage to spare time for a personal life as well?
Mustafa Abbasbeyli: I managed to start an own family. I have two kids. The elder child is 6 years old.