At Toyota’s recent State of the Motor Industry (SOMI) address, it was clearly outlined that South Africa’s automotive sector will remain largely in limp mode going into 2024 – this is confirmed by the numbers coming out of January. Aggregate domestic new vehicle sales for the month were 41,636 units, reflecting a decline of 1,658 units, or a fall of 3,8%, from the 43,294 vehicles sold in January 2023 and a sixth consecutive month of contraction.
Despite the prevailing negative sentiment, Toyota nevertheless broke in the new year with a laudable retail performance: “10,855-unit sales and a corresponding market share of 26,1% is a good ice breaker and a fine testament to the ability of the local Toyota team. We are fortunate to have the right tools to weather this economic storm – a robust dealer network, excellent OEM support coupled with fit-for-purpose product and, of course, an extremely loyal customer base. We’re also one of the few automakers to have quality representation in just about every segment and this has positioned Toyota very nicely to maximise sales, especially in the passenger market space where we’re seeing a definite uptick in the demand for our cars,” says Leon Theron, Toyota South Africa’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing.
Corolla Cross, Starlet and Fortuner all featured in the bestselling top ten with unit sales of 1,660, 1,479 and 974 respectively to give Toyota an overall passenger share of 22,6%. Notable is the fact that the brand has two other models which have previously been higher placed and clearly have the potential for greater retail numbers: Vitz (622) and Urban Cruiser (589). NX notched up a useful 23 sales for sister brand Lexus.
Hilux continues its dominant streak shifting 2,645 units in January for a 24,9% share of the total LCV space. Registering 1,194 units for Hiace, Toyota is similarly far ahead in the taxi segment. With the imminent launch of the facelifted Land Cruiser 79 pick-up featuring the new 2.8-litre powerplant and auto transmission, the current model managed a credible 11th place with 127-unit sales. Toyota’s total share of the LCV market stands at a leading 37,8%.
Thanks to stellar performances from Hino 300 (58), Coaster (55) and Quantum (37), Toyota remains leader of the MCV pack with a 28,8% share of this market.
On the parts front, supply for January was logged at just over 1,4 million pieces distributed locally, with 312 084 pieces exported to foreign markets.