By Bennett Oghifo
The Hilux remained Toyota’s top-selling vehicle, with 2 996 bakkies finding new homes during the month of July in South Africa.
Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) recorded 10 142 sales in the backdrop of an economically-depressed market as evinced in the industry aggregate of 46 077 total units. The July industry total has shrunk by 1 779 units compared to the same month last year, the company said in a statement.
The Reserve Bank recently reported that South Africa is currently stuck in its longest downward business cycle since 1945 while the official unemployment rate jumped to 29% in the second quarter of 2019 – the highest jobless rate since 2008.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) reports that aggregate domestic vehicle sales at 46 077 reflected a decline of 1 779 units or 3.7% from the 47 856 vehicles sold in July last year.
Last month’s new passenger car market registered a decline of 2 617 cars or a fall of 8.2% to 29 477 units compared to the 32 094 new cars sold in July last year.
Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at TSAM says: “The downward economic pressure remains acute and consumers are clearly cautious of incurring additional debt. The decline in the new-car market is a concern for both the motor industry as well as the local economy at large.”
Despite these concerns, Toyota’s light commercial vehicles (LCV) have always played a huge role in the local economy. The Hilux – SA’s favourite bakkie in both single and double-cab guise – was just four units shy of recording 3 000 units last month while the ever-green Hiace Ses’fikile recorded 1 520 units.
On the truck front, Hino ended the month with a total of 295 sales. The Hino 500-Series claimed a 23.2% market share of the HCV segment while the 300-Series achieved 16.7% share of the MCV segment. The passenger segment also made a significant contribution to the TSAM tally, with the Fortuner posting 810 units, Toyota Etios 762, RAV4 584 and Avanza 518.
“We are cautiously optimistic that things are going to get better. However, as an organisation that has a wide range of vehicles across different prices points, we believe there is a Toyota model for almost everyone. We are continuously grateful to our customers, whom we see as loyal ambassadors, as well as our Dealer Network for their sterling efforts in making Toyota a leading brand in SA,” concludes Hamman.