Vehicle sales: Toyota leads the way in tough economy

Brian Joss – Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) continued its admirable sales run – with 9 374 units finding new homes during February – representing 21.6% of the total industry sales of 43 485 reported by the National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA).

According to NAAMSA, the February sales of new vehicles show a decline of 320 units or 0.7% from the 43 805 units sold in February last year. Export sales at 30 832 units also registered a fall of 2 843 units or a decline of 8.4% compared to the 33 675 vehicles exported in February last year.

“The first two months of the year reflect a trying times for local automotive sales. We are, however, continuously encouraged by the work ethic of our dealers who have shown great courage in these challenging times. We are also buoyed by our loyal customers – who are essentially Toyota, Hino and Lexus ambassadors – for their unwavering support of our brands,” says Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Leon Theron.   

Out of the total industry sales of 43 485, an estimated 34 956 units or 80.4% represented dealer sales, 11.4% rental industry, 4.3% government sales and 3.9% represented sales to industry corporate fleets.

Domestic sales of new Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), including bakkies and mini-buses at 11 625 units recorded a decline of 2 497 units or a fall of 17.7% from the 14 122 sold during the corresponding month last year. Despite this, TSAM posted a remarkable share of 38.7% of the LCV segment – courtesy of South Africa’s best-selling vehicle and bakkie, the Hilux, with an enviable total of 2 895 units. SA’s best-selling mini-bus taxi, the Hiace, led with a commendable 1 082 units sold in its segment.

NAAMSA adds that the new passenger car market had registered an increase of 2 098 cars or a gain of 7.6% to 29 665 units compared to the 27 567 new cars sold in February last year. Out of the 4 610 passenger units sold under the Toyota and Lexus banner, laudable contribution came from Fortuner – 975; Etios – 644 and RAV4 – 497. Also noteworthy is the new Corolla Quest which registered 708 sales in just two weeks of introduction to the local market.

On the truck front, Hino ended the month of February with 200 units sold.

The 300-Series sold 128 units, claiming 18.7% of the Medium Commercial Vehicle segment while the 500-Series sold 57 units – staking 16.2% of the Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment.

CAPTION:  Boost: the popular Toyota Hilux. Picture: Motorpress

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