Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) marked 42 years as the best-selling automotive brand in SA with a remarkable market share of 25.4%.
The last time TSAM registered a market share higher than 25% was in 2003, and it was not necessarily a good year for the industry as total automotive sales were just slightly above 380 000. This was followed by a few years where Toyota garnered a market share just above 19%. Worthy of mention however is that for the past five years, Toyota has been punching above a 20% share – an unprecedented run of success by any local automotive brand in recent history.
Hilux retains its title as the country's best-selling vehicle with a total of 36 085 units sold – most of which were double cabs. Hiace also continued its supremacy as the ‘people mover’ of choice with a total of 15 699 models sold. The two heroes, assisted by other light commercial vehicle (LCV) models such as Land Cruiser pick-up and Dyna, propelled TSAM to its highest LCV market share of 42.2%.
Toyota’s market share of 19.2% in the passenger segment is the highest in the last 12 years – matching a similar figure in 2018 – and comes in the wake of two stellar performances by the Corolla Cross in November and December. Other notable figures were posted by Starlet and Urban Cruiser last year – 12 103 and 8 899 respectively for 2021. Toyota’s truck division Hino posted an impressive market share of 25.1% in the Medium Commercial Vehicle (MCV) segment and registered a 5.5% share in Heavy Commercial Vehicles.
TSAM is also proud that its Parts’ Supply business distributed no less than 16 million items to domestic dealers, while close to 4 million pieces were shipped outside of the country in 2021.
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) observed that, “following the massive COVID-19 pandemic related decline in new vehicle sales of 29.2% from 536 612 units in 2019 to 380 206 units in 2020, the new vehicle market reflected a strong rebound increasing year-on-year by 22.1% to 464 122 units in 2021. A close correlation exists between domestic new vehicle sales and the overall performance of the economy and the new vehicle market’s performance was aligned with the country’s projected GDP growth rate of around 5% for 2021.”
Commenting on December sales, NAAMSA says: “The new vehicle market declined during December 2021, with aggregate industry new vehicle sales at 35 948 units recording a decline of 1 302 vehicles or a fall of 3.5% compared to the total new vehicle sales of 37 250 units during the corresponding month of December 2020.
“The December 2021 new passenger car market and light commercial vehicle market reflected a mixed performance with a year-on-year volume increase of 1.7% in the case of new passenger cars and a decline of 16.6% in the case of light commercial vehicles. Sales of medium commercial vehicles increased year-on-year by 17.5% while heavy commercial vehicles and buses were marginally down by 0.7%.”
In December, TSAM continued to power ahead with sales of 9 580 – leading in both Passenger (5 603) and LCV (3 699) segments for the second month in a row. The December retail represents 26.6% of the total sales of 35 948 units reported by NAAMSA. Stand-out performances were recorded by SA’s favourite bakkie Hilux (2 426); the new Corolla Cross (1 752); the affordable Starlet (1 180) as well as the evergreen Hiace (1 024). Lexus recorded a total of 51 sales, including 20 ES and 10 RX models. Hino recorded a total of 249 sales. The 300-Series posted 150 units while the 500-Series sold 72 models.
From a parts perspective, 1.2 million pieces were supplied to domestic dealers while a further 305 000 units were shipped across the borders in December.
According Leon Theron, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TSAM: “The last month of the year is not traditionally successful when it comes vehicles sales. This is mainly due to the limited days of doing business as well as many customers and dealers withholding vehicle registrations in order to record new models in the New Year. However, we are truly grateful for the 26.6% market share recorded last month.”
Theron also paid tribute to Toyota's employees, dealers and other business partners for their support: “When we established the brand in South Africa in 1961, we focused on establishing a wide dealer network that directly serves customers. We genuinely appreciate all those who have been part of the Toyota journey to date, including dealers, staff as well as all the various brand ambassadors and customers.”