Toyota South Africa Motors retained its market leadership position during May, with 8043 units sold which translates to 16.8% market share; while the brand also retained its market share of the overall Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment at 25.2%.
“Whilst competitors capatalised on Government and large fleet special deals, Toyota is satisfied with our performance during May and achieving a fifth consecutive month of market leadership,” says Calvyn Hamman, Toyota South Africa’s Senior Vice President for Sales & Marketing, adding that Dealer Channel sales for Toyota’s core products (including Hilux, Corolla and Fortuner) exceeds 75% of all sales. “This is particularly important for us as it shows a solid commitment from our Dealer Network in terms of sales and indicates a level of customer loyalty which we welcome,” he says.
For the second consecutive month the overall the market showed a slight decline of 3.2% if compared to the same period last year, with the passenger segment showing a decline of 5.4%. Says Hamman: “The decline in specifically the passenger segment shows a level of caution with the wider car-buying public – this can be attributed to uncertainty around fuel prices, utility prices, imminent interest rate increases and vehicle price increase,” says Hamman, adding that Toyota’s used vehicle brand, Automark, recorded 3,418 units sold during May; slightly up on the previous month. “This trend, coupled with a move to smaller, entry-level vehicles underlines consumers’ cautious behaviour in the light of economic uncertainty.”
Another worrying trend is the continuous decline in Car Rental sales which has deteriorated by 19.5% compared to the same period last year. “While this decline can partially be attributed to purchase cycles, one has to think about the impact of new travel legislation on tourism-led industries such as car rental companies,” says Hamman.
On the Trucks front, Hino South Africa achieved a solid 316 units sold, placing the brand in third position with a market share of just under 13%. “The investment-led medium and heavy commercial segments are showing a constant month-on-month decline which can be mainly attributed to the reduction in purchase due to replacement cycles which usually works on a 5-year basis, coupled with a general decline in business confidence,” says Hamman.
Top performers from the Toyota stable included the Hilux (2,608 units), Corolla/Auris/Quest combination (1,400 units) and RAV4 which continues to lead the Small Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) sales race with 416 units finding a home during May.