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SA market woes: Toyota responds

2014-02-10 08:48

NEW TOYOTA IN SA: Toyota’s new Corolla arrives in South Africa sporting a new design, upgraded interior and new engines. Image: TOYOTA

Toyota's Corolla has clocked up more than 40-million sales worldwide and now its 11th generation is from February 2014 available in South Africa.

Toyota is so confident that its latest Corolla will be a success that that it’s banked a R1-billion investment in local production.

IMAGE GALLERY: The 2014 Toyota Corolla

The latest Corolla, the brand’s flagship, sports bold design changes, improved tech and quality as well as new engines and transmissions. What’s more, it’s the vanguard of a 30-model offensive for SA in 2014!  

However the Corolla makes its local debut amid troubling market conditions, plummeting rand and low consumer confidence.

Toyota South Africa’s senior vice-president for sales and marketing, Calvyn Hamman, shared his insights into the local market with Wheels24.

Hamman said: “Toyota sold over 127 000 units in 2013 and we expect this figure to grow in 2014. We currently have the highest ‘Customer Experience’ yet for Toyota vehicles. We’re not No.1 but we’re working towards it.”

“Lexus sales dropped to 986 sales in 2013 – because we created a market gap by not having an IS250 in our new local range.”

Toyota South Africa sold 10 659 new vehicles to start 2014 as the market leader in South Africa. This figure represents a 20.1% market share in a pie that has decreased by 6.8% compared to January 2013.

According to Toyota, vehicle rental purchases, at 7154 units or 13.4% of overall sales provided an unseasonal boost to vehicle sales, while retail level sales – a barometer of private buyers’ economic reality – represented 80.9% of all vehicles sold. In December private purchases represented 82% of all sales.


Wheels24: “What about the current market drop? Will sales be negatively affected by the plummeting rand?”

Hamman: “Analysts predict 651 000 units for South Africa in 2014 but given the negative pressures we believe it might be closer to 640 000. Maybe less.

“SA has a gross domestic produce growth of 1.6%, poor consumer confidence and high consumer debt, so people will be reluctant to spend money. Currently we have high vehicle prices in SA due to having to keep up with pressures such as interest and exchange rates.

“Prices may increase in 2014 as a result of the current market. Toyota unfortunately will have to keep up with negative pressures.”

Hamman said: “The market shows clear signs of slowing, despite the normal seasonal anomalies that we expect in January."

“We expect that the market in 2014 will stagnate at 2013 levels or even drop somewhat and the first month’s sales is evidence of this.

2014 Toyota Corolla models and prices
1.3 Esteem - R214 900
1.3 Prestige - R232 900

1.4 D Esteem - R237 900
1.4 D Prestige - R249 900

1.6 Esteem - R225 900
1.6 Prestige - R241 900
1.6 Prestige Multidrive S - R252 900
1.6 Sprinter - R248 900

1.8 Prestige - R251 900
1.8 Exclusive - R272 900
1.8 Exclusive Multidrive S - R283 900

The 2014 Corolla will be delivered with a three-year or 100 000km warranty and a five-year or 90 000km service plan. Service intervals 15 000km (including the 1.4 D). ToyotaCare entitles customers to 24-hour roadside assistance.

Read more on:    toyota  |  south africa  |  industry  |  vehicles  |  new models

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