TOYOTA LEADS DESPITE TOUGH CONDITIONS
Toyota South Africa has retained its position as market leader with 7 528 unit sales recorded during the holiday month of April. This gives Toyota a margin of 1 767 units ahead of its closest contender, and has resulted in a market share of 21,5% for the month.
“April figures reflect a tough month for the domestic motor industry owing to low productivity levels coupled with the political instability that kicked the month off,” commented Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing. “Toyota however, managed to secure its market-leader position in the face of these conditions,” added Hamman.
April remained a favourable month for Toyota on the SUV front with 985 Fortuner and 426 RAV4 units finding new homes, placing Toyota at the forefront of the large and medium SUV segments.
“The Fortuner has cemented its top position since making its local debut one year ago, and still resonates with SUV buyers seeking superb off-road credentials with outstanding refinement, even during months with leaner overall sales,” concluded Hamman.
Furthermore, dealers logged a total of 10 908 Toyota Hilux sales during the first four months of 2017, reinforcing its position as the nation’s brand of choice.
April sales also held steady for a selection of specialist Toyota models, most noticeably the Land Cruiser 200, gaining 82 new owners; as well as the Land Cruiser 79 and Quantum, which achieved 204 and 1 109 sales respectively.
The Toyota C-HR retailed 222 units in its second month on the market. The model’s launch sales trajectory has normalised due to global supply constraints from a single-source plant.
Despite the commercial vehicle market facing similar economic and political challenges, Hino achieved a 20,5% share of the MCV market for the month.
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Tasneem Lorgat | Corporate and Internal Communications | Toyota South Africa Motors (Pty) Ltd
Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +27 11 809 2234 | Mobile: +27 72 272 8888
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Commenting on the new vehicle sales statistics for the month of April, 2017 – released today for public consumption on the website of the Department of Trade & Industry – the Association said that new vehicle sales in all segments, with the exception of medium commercial vehicles, had deteriorated sharply during the month registering double digit declines. In large part, the lower sales could be attributed to the proliferation and configuration of public holidays during the month. In 2017, the Easter holidays fell during the month of April, whilst in 2016 they fell during the month of March. The multiplicity of public holidays had also impacted on new vehicle exports which also reflected a sharp year on year decline.
In the event, April 2017 aggregate new vehicle sales at 34 956 units had decreased by 5 392 units or 13.4% from the 40 348 vehicles sold in April last year. April, 2017 export sales at 24 449 had registered a sharp fall of 8 383 vehicles or a decline of 25.5% compared to the 32 832 vehicles exported in April last year.
Overall, out of the total reported Industry sales of 34 956 vehicles, an estimated 31 479 units or 90.1% represented dealer sales, 4.3% represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 3.1% to Industry corporate fleets and 2.5% to government.
The April, 2017 new car market at 22 452 units reflected a fall of 3 560 cars or a decline of 13.7% compared to the 26 012 new cars sold in April last year. The car rental Industry had accounted for an estimated 5.2% of new car sales in April, 2017, however, the rental industry’s share was probably understated since it excluded estimates of BMW SA and Mercedes car rental sales.
Domestic sales of industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses at 10 592 units during April, 2017 reflected a decline of 1 625 units or a fall of 13.3% compared to the 12 217 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.
Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the Industry had also recorded falls and at 562 units and 1 350 units, respectively, reflected a decline of 22 units or 3.8% in the case of medium commercial vehicles and, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, a decline of 185 vehicles or a fall of 12.1% compared to the corresponding month last year.
Industry new vehicle exports had been lower than expectations and at 24 449 units exported during April, 2017 reflected a reduction of 8 383 units or a decline of 25.5% compared to the 32 832 vehicles exported in April last year.
Following the modest improvement in new vehicle sales experienced during the first three months of 2017, the outlook for the balance of the year had turned negative on the back of the extra-ordinary political events at the end of March, 2017 and early April, 2017. Political and social polarisation in South Africa, together with prospects of lower domestic growth over the short to medium term – continued to weigh on business confidence and consumer sentiment. Domestic new vehicle sales were closely correlated with the overall performance of South Africa’s economy and confidence levels. The key performance factors driving new vehicle demand included Gross Domestic Product growth, the direction of interest rates and the exchange rate. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a number of South African banks had revised downwards 2017 prospects for South Africa’s growth. The slump in the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index reinforced expectations of a more difficult economic environment characterised by a lower growth rate. NAAMSA anticipated that greater clarity would be forthcoming over the next two to three months regarding the impact of socio-political events on the direction of the economy and this would enable then the Association to resume projections on new vehicle sales. At this stage, the risk for new vehicle sales was on the downside.
Industry new vehicle exports would remain a function of the performance and direction of global markets. Indications for the global economy were reasonably positive with the latest IMF projections anticipating global growth at around 3.6%. This would benefit vehicle exports to Europe, Australasia, Asia, the United States and South America. NAAMSA anticipated that export sales would register upward momentum over the balance of 2017 thereby continuing to contribute positively to South Africa’s trade balance.
NAAMSA OFFICES: PRETORIA 2nd May, 2017