Toyota still April market leader in tough economic climate

Brian Joss – Toyota South Africa has retained its position as market leader with 8 217 unit sales recorded during the holiday month of April.

The April aggregate is 689 units more compared to the corresponding month last year. The total also gives Toyota a margin of 1 952 units ahead of its closest contender, and has resulted in a 22.6% market share.

Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 36 346 in April, a total of 31 476 units or 86.6% represented dealer sales, while an estimated 7% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 5.1% to industry corporate fleets and 1.3% to government.

According to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Calvyn Hamman: “The month of April is traditionally not strong for vehicle sales in South Africa and this year was no different.”

While Toyota is happy to retain the lead as the country’s favourite vehicle brand, they are constantly aligning themselves with the customer needs communicated through the marque’s strong dealer channel.

“Currently, customers seem to prefer vehicles with an ample ride height, interior space and comfort – as evinced by the popularity of SUVs and double-cab bakkies. Our LCV market share has been averaging 38% in the past few months, and this is reinforced by the rock-solid reputation of the Toyota brand in terms of quality, reliability and resale value – vitally important in these economically testing times.”

April remained a favourable month for Toyota on the LCV front with 2 679 Hilux units finding new homes, placing Toyota firmly at the forefront in the segment with 3 987 units sold. There were commendable sales on other specialist Toyota models; including the Land Cruiser 200 with 96 units as well as the Land Cruiser 79 and Quantum with 192 and 1 109 units sold, respectively.

On the truck front, the Hino 500 Series had yet another strong month achieving a class-leading 25.5% share in the HCV segment, while the Hino 300 Series finished the month with a 22.1% market share in the MCV segment.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) reports that at 36 346 units, the domestic new vehicle sales showed an improvement of 1 260 vehicles or 3.6% from the 35 086 vehicles sold in April last year.

“Sales in the low-volume medium- and-heavy truck segments of the industry reflected a mixed picture but had again remained under pressure and at 493 units and 1 345 units, respectively, had recorded a fall of 68 vehicles or a decline of 12.1%, in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, a modest improvement of 17 vehicles or a gain of 1.3% compared to the corresponding month last year,” says Naamsa.

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