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Toyota SA achieves its highest LCV market share ever

In 2020, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) recorded 41.9% in light commercial vehicle (LCV) market share, which is its highest ever. This comes courtesy of the brand's segment stalwarts, the Hilux and the Hiace.

In December 2020 alone, TSAM recorded a market share of 45.7% in the LCV segment – which translates to 4,939 out of the 10,161 vehicles sold by the company last month. As many as 3,233 Hilux and 1,221 Hiace models found new homes in December.

With the local automotive industry posting its lowest total in 18 years, the cumulative total of vehicles sold in 2020 was 380,449 – some 156,163 (29.1%) units below the 536,612 aggregate registered in 2019. This massive drop in sales can be directly attributed to a host of Covid-19-related restrictions implemented last year. The local motoring industry was particularly badly hit in the months of April and May when the country was under hard lockdown.

Commenting on 2020 aggregate sales, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) says: “Vehicle sales are linked to the strength of the economy and the pandemic not only deepened an existing economic recession, but its severe impact resulted in the domestic new-vehicle market in 2020 dropping back to the levels of two decades ago.”

The LCV segment might be the mainstay of Toyota sales, but the figures for passenger sales are not to be sniffed at. The newly launched Starlet was Toyota’s leading passenger vehicle in December, with 1,126 units - outgoing Etios garnered a further useful 288 sales, followed by the Quest with 1,004, Fortuner with 942 and Avanza with 400 among the top sellers.

The role played by the Parts Supply business, which distributed a total of 14.32 million parts pieces to the domestic market and over 3.3 million pieces to the export market, can also not be underestimated. It also reinforces the fact that customers trust genuine parts to get the job done timeously, efficiently and, in the long run, economically. In December, just over 1.28 million parts pieces were delivered to local dealers while a further 315 943 were shipped to foreign markets.

According to Leon Theron, the senior vice president of sales and marketing at TSAM, 2021 will likewise be a challenging year for the local automotive sector.

“The coronavirus will still be a huge factor in the economy this year, and this will have a notable impact on the retail of motor vehicles in the course of the year. We hope that our Toyota, Hino and Lexus dealers and all the Toyota staff at various touch points will be up to the task,” says Theron.

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