Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) reported sales of 7 743 vehicles in August 2020, an increase of 279 units compared to the previous month of July. It was again the Toyota Hilux that spearheaded the company’s local sales with an enviable total of 3 610 units sold. The Double Cab configuration with 1 850 sales remains top of mind for customers, while Single and Extra Cab versions accounted for 1 071 and 689 of the total Hilux sales, respectively.

Ultimately, TSAM’s total Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sales have continued to shoot the lights out in the segment with 4 853 vehicles sold – thanks in part to 1 000 Hiace and 125 Land Cruiser 79 pick-up models sold, as well as dozens of Quantum and Dyna units finding new homes. On the passenger front, the Fortuner led Toyota’s SUV assault with 733 units retailed, while Etios and Corolla Quest posted sales of 415 and 370 units apiece. On the truck front, there was a strong showing by the Hino 300 Series with 204 units in the Medium Commercial Vehicles segment while the 500 Series posted 86 sales in the Heavy Commercial Vehicles category.

However, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TSAM, Leon Theron, says the company’s marketing strategy is not just limited to new vehicle sales leadership. In fact, he commended local Toyota, Hino and Lexus dealerships for servicing a total of 107 636 vehicles and selling no less than 1 182 million vehicle parts locally while a further 275 000 pieces were shipped outside of our borders.

TSAM’s total sales of 7 743, out of the industry aggregate of 33 515, translated to a laudable market share of 23.1%. According to Theron: “Our market share has been consistent above 20% and right now it remains well above that level. In saying that, as we continue to navigate through these profound times, being number one is not top of mind, because leadership is not just about volume in isolation – it never has been. It is also about trust and having an emotional connection with our customers, a deep understanding that enables us to meet their needs and even anticipate them.

“So, rather than just focusing on sales every month, we are also interested in how we further cement trust in the Toyota, Lexus and Hino brands, because by doing that we will build a sustainable business where sales volumes can largely take care of themselves.”

Globally, the organisation’s sales and production volumes had already recovered to 90% of the previous year's July figures – following COVID-19-induced disruptions in both retail and manufacturing. Toyota Motor Corporation – the parent company of TSAM and other Toyota affiliates – predict that worldwide sales are expected to slump by approximately 15% between July and September, decrease around 5% down between October to December, and then ease slowly up by approximately 5% from January to March in 2021.

The National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) noted that the demand for new vehicles has improved slightly compared to the previous two months as South Africa’s lockdown restrictions eased further to Level 2 last month. The association noted that activity in the new vehicle market is expected to remain low for the remainder of the year due to the uncertainties relating to the economic impact of the coronavirus, compounded by the need for both consumers and businesses alike to adapt to short-term budget pressures.

“We see TSAM as a microcosm and a reflection of the communities we live in. We are a resilient nation, and we therefore believe that our economy will improve, and it will do so in tandem with our vehicle sales. In the meantime, we will continue to support our dealers, employees and customers in the best possible way. TSAM is grateful for the relationships cultivated in these areas as they keep the organisation in good stead during these challenging times,” concludes Theron.