We celebrate two milestones with strong May sales month
• Toyota Etios reach top 3 sales position in first month
• Locally produced Quantum and Ses’fikile driving higher sales
• Toyota remain top local manufacturer and exporter
Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) today celebrates two major milestones with its announcement of 9,162 Toyota, Lexus and Hino sales in May.
First among the major milestones was the introduction of the Toyota Etios, an entry-level vehicle that is targeted at the fast growing Sub-B vehicle segment. Only delivered to dealers on 21 May, the Etios nonetheless managed a sales figure of 1 315 units. This has catapulted Toyota’s newest passenger vehicle to the top 3 best-selling passenger vehicles in South Africa.
“The budget sector of the motor industry has grown significantly over the past few years. It remains fuelled by increasing pressure on living costs and lingering economic uncertainty. We believe that the market will remain the main driver for passenger vehicle sales going forward and we look forward to participate in that market with the new Etios,” says Dr Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of TSAM.
Not to be overshadowed the first locally produced Toyota Quantum and Ses’fikile notched up sales of 1 102 units in May. TSAM kick-started its local assembly line in May and will soon announce further developments at an official ceremony. Toyota’s Prospecton assembly line in Durban now proudly manufacture or assemble the Hilux, Fortuner, Corolla and Quantum ranges – with all models claiming market leadership in their respective segments.
The total vehicle market surpassed the 50 000 unit-mark in May with total sales of 50 228 vehicles as reported by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). This represents a jump of 20.7% compared to the same month in May 2011 and 17.8% over the short April 2012.
“One should also be wary of direct comparisons with 2011. The May 2012 sales look particularly strong in comparison to May last year, but one should keep in mind that the three months starting in May 2011 carried the brunt of the after-effects of the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan. As such we expect significant comparative growth numbers for June and July as well.
“Despite this, total vehicle sales are currently on course to surpass our internal conservative estimates. We will however keep an eye on market drivers and evaluate their longevity,” says Dr Van Zyl.
The factors referred to include key model introductions, such as the Toyota Etios, improved volume production from two major local vehicle manufacturers and very aggressive advertising and marketing campaigns amongst all local producers. All these factors are expected to stabilise over the next few months.
Vehicle exports show a similar improvement over May 2011 to reach 22 620 units in May. Of this Toyota represented 32.8% - meaning that one in every three vehicles exported from South Africa is a Toyota.
Back on local soil Toyota has recorded a 21.6% jump in sales through dealer channels for all vehicle brands. This is mainly driven by passenger and light commercial vehicles, with the Hilux maintaining its position as the country’s best-selling vehicle.