Toyota South Africa Motors ended 2018 with 6 159 more vehicle sales compared with 2017. Photo: AP

CAPE TOWN – Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) ended 2018 with 6 159 more vehicle sales compared with 2017, while 2018’s total of 133 603 Toyota units sold, compared with 127 444 sold in 2017, culminating in a 24.2 percent market share. 

TSAM’s year-on-year growth can be attributed to the increased sales performance of passenger (70 170) and Light Commercial Vehicles (60 229) in 2018 – up from 68 810 and 55 577, respectively, in 2017. 

However, the same cannot be said for 2018 total domestic sales as they recorded a lacklustre performance when compared to the previous year. 

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) reported that: “Following the modest improvement in new vehicle sales of 1.9 percent, in volume terms, in 2017 – new vehicle sales had declined by 1 percent from 552 190 units in 2018 compared to the total of 557 703 units in 2017. The annual decline reflected the weak macro-economic environment, pressure on consumers’ disposable income and fragile business and consumer confidence.”

December also recorded lower industry sales compared to the same time the previous year. According to Naamsa: “Industry domestic sales ended 2018 on a weak note with aggregate industry new vehicle sales for December 2018 at 39 984 units recording a decline of 767 vehicles or a fall of 1.9 percent compared to the total new vehicle sales of 40 751 units during the corresponding month of December 2017.”

Market share sales

Despite December being a tough month, Toyota registered a total of 9 038 (22.6 percent market share) sales – including 4 435 LCVs, 4 430 passenger vehicles and 173 Hino trucks. The Hilux (2 907) – followed by the Quantum with 1 245 – was once again in the forefront of LCV sales, while the Fortuner (1 027) led Toyota passenger sales. 

Other notable performers were Etios (507), RAV4 (410), Landcruiser 200 (143) and Prado (106). Hino ended the month with 173 sales and the 500 Series achieving a 19% share of the MCV segment.

“The last month of the year is traditionally indolent when it comes vehicles sales. This is mainly due to the limited days of doing business as well as many customers and dealers withholding vehicle registrations in order to record new models in the New Year.

“However, we are truly grateful for the 22.6 percent market share recorded last month,” said Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Calvyn Hamman.

Commenting on Toyota’s overall sales performance in 2018, Hamman said the company’s wide dealer network remains the foundation of TSAM’s sales volume. 

“When we established the brand in South Africa in 1961, we focussed on establishing a wide dealer network that directly serves customers. We genuinely appreciate all those who have been part of the Toyota journey to date, including dealers, staff as well as all the various brand ambassadors and customers. We will continue listening to the voice of our customers to see how best we can serve them into 2019,” he said.