Toyota remains top seller in SA
  • Total Industry Sales: 39,177
  • TSAM Sales: 6,664
  • TSAM Market Share: 17%
  • Hilux: 1,368
  • Urban Cruiser: 1,213
  • Rumion: 834

It’s almost two months since the Toyota Prospecton Plant in Durban suspended its operations due to extensive damage caused by heavy floods in the region. The facility produces Corolla Cross and Quest as well as segment leaders Hilux, Hiace Ses’fikile and Fortuner – while also assembling a variety of Hino commercial vehicles. (Hino assembly has since resumed as of 23 May 2022.)

According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (naamsa): “The knock-on effects of the disruptions caused by the severe floods in KwaZulu-Natal on the automotive supply chain and damages to the Toyota facility, along with a widespread decline in economic momentum around the globe, weighed on the potential of vehicle exports during the month.

“Various key export markets continue to face multiple headwinds, including rising interest rates, supply chain disruptions, resurging COVID-19 waves as well as producer and consumer inflation at the highest levels in decades. However, prospects for 2022 remain optimistic on the back of further new locally-manufactured model introductions during the year and still good prospects for exports, despite moderating global economic growth.”

With most of Toyota’s best sellers hampered by stock shortages in May, the company’s marketing machinery had to redirect resources to enhance its support for completely built-up or imported units. TSAM is therefore pleased that models such as the Urban Cruiser (1,213) and Rumion (834) are finding mass appeal in the local market.

In addition to Toyota’s affordable models performing remarkably in their respective segments, Land Cruiser-badged models – including Land Cruiser pick-up (294), Prado (157) and LC 300 (162) – also fared exceptionally well. On the luxury front, Lexus sold a total of 67 units – including 20 ES, 16 LX, with RX and UX sharing the spoils with 10 units apiece. Hino, TSAM’s truck division, also had a strong showing with a total of 217 units retailed in May.   

Less affected by the suspension of operations at the plant was TSAM’s parts distribution division in Boksburg (Johannesburg), with the organisation’s parts’ supply business distributing no less than 1.4 million items to domestic dealers, while close to 280,000 pieces were shipped outside of the country last month.

“We are quite content to have held on to the market leader position for another month since the temporary closure of our plant in Durban. TSAM is also fortunate that its retail inventory includes a model for almost every segment. So, naturally, when IMV (Hilux and Fortuner) and locally-built Corolla models were affected by the situation at our plant, the imported models did well to sustain our business. We don’t take anything for granted and we are grateful for the support shown by our customers in the past couple of months,” says Leon Theron, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TSAM.

Theron added he was pleased that the Prospecton Plant recovery process was still on track, although a date for resumption of operations has yet to be determined. Toyota is actively monitoring progress and will provide recovery-plan updates when deemed necessary.

“We are keeping all our stakeholders up to date with the developments at the plant. We are constantly communicating with customers whose vehicle deliveries have been impacted by the floods and we are truly appreciative of their patience to date. Our dealers have been doing a commendable job, keeping our business sustainable during this period and we’re eternally grateful for their efforts,” concluded Theron.