Toyota gets off to a strong start for 2016

The auto market in South Africa got off to a cautious start in 2016 with a few players maintaining sales momentum while others posted tepid results.

001-off-my-wheelsBrian Joss – This is clearly reflected in the year-on-year decline in aggregate new-vehicle registrations which saw 48 615 units retailed in January 2016, compared to the 52 228 vehicles sold in January last year – a decline of 6,9 percent.

Toyota, however, is one of the few exceptions and has again been crowned SA’s best-selling motor brand, accounting for 22,4 per cent of the market, comfortably outselling its nearest rival by 2 174 units. This represents a one per cent increase over the same period last year.

Toyota RAV 4 hybrid: sales “soaring”.  Picture: Motorpress
Toyota RAV 4 hybrid: sales “soaring”. Picture: Motorpress

Testimony to the enduring appeal of the Hilux nameplate is the fact that the evergreen Hilux still managed to garner the top spot for SA’s best-selling commercial vehicle, clocking 2 773 units for the month – this on the back of scooping the title as SA’s best-selling vehicle for 2015. What makes this achievement even more remarkable is that this is the last official month of sales for the 7th generation Hilux before the 8th generation debuts towards the end of February. As at February 1 , only 51 current-generation double cab models are available within the Toyota dealer network.

The increased popularity of crossovers continues unabated and the unprecedented demand for the RAV4 is tangible proof of this. Benefitting from the release of the all-new 2016 model-year version of the compact SUV, saw RAV4 sales soar to 756 for January, some 410 units ahead of its nearest competitor.

Another model that benefited from a recent refresher is the re-engined and aesthetically-enhanced Toyota Avanza. Sales surged to 555 units in January, putting this modestly-priced MPV at the top of its segment.

Other noteworthy sales performances were recorded by two of the company’s more affordable models, namely the Etios and Corolla Quest. Buoyed by a good rental month, sales of 1 937 and 1 325 units respectively were realised for the month of January.

According to Calvyn Hamman, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Toyota South Africa Motors: “We’re delighted with the strong start we’ve had in 2016. Clearly being a tried and trusted brand is a strong purchasing factor in this current economy.

“What’s more. with the all-new 8th-generation Hilux waiting in the wings, as well as the forthcoming Fortuner due for release in April, we are confident that we will maintain this positive sales trend.”

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