In July, 3 575 Hilux models found new homes in South Africa, proving the bakkie’s status as the country’s favourite vehicle once more. Hilux, together with the rest of the range placed Toyota ahead of its nearest competitor by 2 389 units, to achieve 7 464 new car and truck sales for the month. This equates to an overall market share of 23%.
According to Leon Theron, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM): “The COVID-19-induced economic uncertainty and its ramifications are mostly to blame for the current consumer market. Retail conditions are tough and consumer sentiment is cautious and conservative.
“The overall market decline of 35,8%, compared to July 2019, is a cause for concern in the industry as a whole. That said, Toyota managed to maintain a steady market share, registering 23% last month. This figure proves that in these tough and uncertain times, people buy the brands they know and trust, and Toyota’s value proposition speaks to that and more.”
Other than Hilux, which assisted TSAM to clinch a 43.8% share in the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment, the evergreen Hiace posted 989 sales. In the passenger segment, Corolla Quest and Etios registered totals of 488 and 454, respectively. TSAM is also pleased to have registered a total of 117 270 parts sales and vehicles services last month.
According to the National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), the July new passenger car market registered a substantial decline of 10 552 cars or a fall of 35.8% to 18 905 units compared to the 29 457 new cars sold in July last year. The association attributes part of the decline in passenger sales to lockdown restrictions – especially those relating to the tourism industry.
NAAMSA cautions that “considering the most recent projected negative annualised GDP growth in the country of 7,3% by the SA Reserve Bank, it does not bode well for the outlook on domestic demand for new vehicles over the short term… However, a recovery in the new vehicle market will most likely depend on how quickly the economy can break out of its low growth trap and how soon society will recover from the present COVID-19 lockdown.”
Theron says he remains cautiously optimistic as to what the market will offer the industry in the remaining months of the year. “There is no challenge too big for Team Toyota, and I’m grateful to the entire crew – including sales, marketing and parts, as well as our plant and dealer network for the commendable work ethic they have shown over the past few months. We continue trusting in our product offering as well as our strong dealer network to keep us SA’s favourite motoring brand,” concludes Theron.