Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) continued to power ahead with sales of 11 935 new vehicles in July. This represents 20% of the total sales of 58 140 units reported by the National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) and means that year to date Toyota remains South Africa’s most popular vehicle brand and market leader.
“Vehicle sales continue to perform well, but remains in line with expectations for a slower rate of growth for 2013,” says Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing at Toyota South Africa Motors.
New vehicle sales increased by 7.5% over the same month last year and the sale of light commercial vehicles performed exceptionally well. The Toyota Hilux, with sales of 3 159 units, remains South Africa’s most popular pick-up. Toyota also remains the most popular light commercial vehicle manufacturer selling 4 703 units in July. These sales include the certain Land Cruiser models and the locally assembled Ses’fikile taxi.
“The underlying economic drivers can swing customer demand in either way,” says Hamman. “On the one hand the market is buoyed by a strong vehicle replacement cycle, persistently low interest rates, pre-emptive buying by customers who are expecting vehicle prices to increase and very strong marketing activity amongst all manufacturers.”
In support of this view Toyota Financial Services announced that it received more than 21% more applications for finance in July than in June, while the average daily sales rate increased from 2 080 in July 2012 to 2 153 units in the past month.
“At the same time the somewhat depressed growth figures, increased household debt and rising living costs - including fuel prices – are dragging on the overall sales growth,” says Hamman.
Hamman also points to strong purchases by vehicle rental groups. This points to an earlier start to the vehicle rental purchase cycle before the peak summer season and it added 11.4% to the overall sales.
Toyota continues to lead the way as the largest vehicle exporter from South Africa constituting 25% of all vehicle exports. In July, it exported 6 668 units to countries around the globe.