The bleak picture of the state of our economy could not have been more vivid. South Africa has just posted a record unemployment rate of 32.5% for the last quarter of 2020, and the local economy continues to suffer the consequences of the COVID-19-induced market crash. In addition, consumer sentiment is equally low due to the above-mentioned factors as well as the lingering economic uncertainty.
The sluggish economic outlook has had a negative impact on the local automotive market, with the industry posting total sales of 37 521 units. The February 2021 aggregate was some 5 775 (13.3%) units shy of the February 2020 total of 43 296. New light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales contributed 11 246 units to the February tally while the retail of passenger vehicles contributed a total of 24 270 units.
Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) staked a 22.1% market share of the overall February sales. Out of the 8 306 units sold by TSAM, a total of 4 605 were LCV while a further 3 460 sales comprised passenger models. Hilux continued to lead the sales charts as SA’s best loved vehicle – registering some 3 031 units.
“We are particularly proud of the role played by our dealers and our customers in making Toyota the leading brand in the LCV segment. A segment leadership of 41.4% is not to be sniffed at. Our products in this segment range from Hilux and Land Cruiser bakkies supporting the agricultural sector to Hiace taxis anchoring the local transport system – as well lifestyle afficionados who love the comfort of the Double-Cabs while appreciating their utilitarian qualities,” says Leon Theron, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TSAM.
While the Hilux has enjoyed a long stint as the country’s favourite vehicle, the Hiace has – for the past few years – maintained a steady market share of above 95% in its segment. On the passenger front, the Fortuner continued its segment leadership with 706 units sold, while the other hi-riders like RAV4 (419), Landcruiser Prado (75) and Landcruiser 200 (46) also came to the party with admirable figures.
Toyota also continued its commendable run in the affordable passenger models categories with Corolla Quest (776), Starlet (667), Agya (285) and Avanza (232). TSAM’s more niche brand, Lexus, managed total sales of 36 – including 10 NX models and 8 LX units.
The company’s truck division Hino sold a total of 100 new trucks in February. The Hino 500-Series sold a total of 40 units (18% share of the HCV segment) while the 300-Series sold 52 units (11% share of the MCV segment).