March witnessed a 15.9% dip in South Africa’s automobile sales compared to the previous year, continuing an eight-month streak of declines. The industry faces challenges from rising fuel prices, increased interest rates, and a backdrop of negative economic and political outlooks affecting consumer sentiment and new vehicle purchases.

Despite these hurdles, Toyota South Africa stands as a beacon of resilience. Leon Theron, the Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Toyota, credits the collective efforts of their dealer network, sales, marketing, aftersales teams, and production facilities for their enduring performance. Toyota achieved 11,109 vehicle sales in March, securing a 25.1% market share. Although this figure is a decrease from the previous year’s record of 13,406 units, it’s considered a significant achievement, especially with fewer trading days in the month due to the Easter holidays. Toyota leads the market in almost all categories, underlining the strength of customer loyalty during tough times.

The Corolla Cross emerged as South Africa’s top-selling passenger car with 2,041 units, while the Starlet and Fortuner also performed well in their segments. Lexus SUVs led the premium segment, with models like the NX, RX, and LX achieving top sales. The Hilux reigned supreme not only as the best-selling Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) but also as the overall top seller in the country. The Land Cruiser 79 Pick-up also saw significant sales following its update.

Toyota’s dominance extended into the car hire market, capturing over 33% share, and showed strength in the commercial vehicle sector, leading in the Medium Commercial Vehicle (MCV) and Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) categories with notable sales of the Hino 300 and 500 Series.

In terms of parts distribution, Toyota reported over 1.3 million parts distributed locally in March, with an additional 255,462 parts exported. This comprehensive performance, amidst challenging market conditions, illustrates Toyota South Africa’s commitment to maintaining its market presence and customer satisfaction.