Toyota swimming against the declining sales tide

Looking at the consistent and growing number of sales, Toyota showed in the last month of 2023 why it has dominated the local vehicle sales chart for the last 44 years.

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The automotive industry body, naamsa, revealed that the South African motor industry is currently plagued by a litany of woes ranging from ongoing power outages to logistical issues at the ports, all of which conspired to substantively rein in vehicle sales in 2023.

This was confirmed by the fifth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in December. Aggregate industry new vehicle sales of 40 329 units reflected a shrinkage of 3.3%, which translated into 1 392 fewer vehicles being sold when compared to the corresponding month in 2022.

Toyota, however, was fortunate to swim against this negative current by recording sales of 11 200 units in December for a market share of 27.8% for the month.

Toyota’s Hilux, still South Africa’s favourite.

Toyota South Africa’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Leon Theron, was buoyed by the automaker’s solid performance last year. “I am extremely proud and humbled by what the Toyota Team has achieved.

“Against a backdrop of economic doom and gloom, our dealers and staffers have pulled off a remarkable result, ending off the year with a total market penetration of 26.8%, our highest annual share in TSAM history when looking at Lightstone Auto data insights. This equated to a total of 142 612 registrations under the Toyota banner, an increase of over 10 000 units compared to the preceding year.”

As has been the case throughout the year, Toyota was once again first in three categories – Passenger, LCV and MCV. With four models in the top ten, Toyota secured a comfortable lead in Passenger with aggregated sales of 6 723 units for an overall segment share of 24.4% in December.

The Corolla Cross and Vitz led the charge with 1 932 and 1 358 registrations, respectively. The Starlet followed with 1 013 units, while the Fortuner continued its good retail run with 798 units sold. Other notable showings in the passenger space came from the Urban Cruiser with 518 units, while at the other end of the SUV scale, the Land Cruiser 300 and Prado notched up 176 and 106 sales apiece. It was another strong performance for the NX under the Lexus badge, with 54 shipped in December.

Hilux was once again unstoppable, picking up 2 858 new sales in December. With this latest podium victory, Hilux retains its crown as SA’s bestseller, an achievement it has held for 50 years. Also making it onto the LCV top ten is the Hiace (1 014) and the Land Cruiser 79 (176). It’s worth noting that Toyota recorded an annualised LCV market share of 39.8%.

In the competitive MCV market, Toyota once again proved its mettle by retailing a total of 147 units, accounting for a leading segment share of 24.1% for December. This came courtesy of Hino 300 (82), Toyota Coaster (45) and Quantum (20).

On the parts front, supply for December came in at just over 1.2 million items distributed locally and 268 163 items were exported to foreign markets.

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