Toyota Maintains Its Lead In A Weakening Market

As highlighted by NAAMSA, new vehicle sales are trending in the wrong direction on the back of a resurgence in load-shedding, compounded by several crises on the Transnet front with the latest casualty being port logistics. With just over 45,000 registrations recorded in November 2023 compared to nearly 50,000 in the same month last year, the drop-off is a substantial 9,8%.

According to Toyota South Africa’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Leon Theron, this current sales shrinkage is cause for some concern: “It doesn’t bode well for retail in the new year as chances are very slim that we will see significant changes in South Africa’s economic climate in the short term. And, to put this contraction in perspective, you have to remember that we’re coming off a really low base. 2022 was not a true reflection of what the market should have been – it was nowhere near pre-pandemic sales levels. 2023 started optimistically enough, but we’re now into our fourth consecutive monthly decline in new vehicle sales and that is a worrying trend.”

Theron is, however, encouraged by Toyota’s performance: “To retail 11,891 units for a 26,4% slice of the new car market is no mean feat. It has taken considerable effort on the part of our dealers, staff members and everyone in the Toyota supply chain to achieve this and I am truly appreciative. I would also like to thank each and every one of our customers for their loyal support. Albeit a short month, if we keep up the momentum in December, I’m confident we will get to an overall 27% market share.”

From a sales’ highlights point of view, Toyota was the bestseller in three categories – passenger, LCV and MCV. Four models graced the passenger top ten – second-placed Corolla Cross on 1,766 units, Starlet on 1,176, Vitz on 855 and Fortuner with 689 registrations.

The Corolla trinity comprising Hatch, Sedan and Quest made a valuable passenger contribution of 628 units, while Urban Cruiser added to the tally with 559 units. Land Cruiser 300 recorded 222 sales for the month. NX was the Lexus star performer with 30 units finding new owners.

Toyota also leads in the LCV space with 5,042 units retailed in November for an overall 44,7% share, this is up on last month’s 42% share. As SA’s overall top seller, Hilux leads with 3,073 units retailed. Hiace also makes podium with 1,501 registrations, while the Land Cruiser 79 pick-up with 260 sales, comes in at ninth place.

Toyota achieved its leading 29,4% share of the MCV market by shifting 129 Hino 300 Series followed by 71 Coasters and 31 Quantums for a total of 231 sales.

Parts’ supply for November came in at over 1,5 million pieces distributed locally and 321,838 pieces exported to foreign markets.