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SA best-sellers: Toyota SUVs crushing all rivals

2019-06-04 11:32

Lance Branquinho

Image: QuickPic

If Toyota’s SUV business was a standalone entity, it would be South Africa’s sixth biggest automotive brand.

Toyota consolidated its absolute dominance of the South African gravel travel and SUV market in May, with a crushing retail performance. The brand’s fifth-generation Rav4 launched locally in late March, with May effectively registering as its first full retail month.

Toyota garaged 708 Rav4s to new owners last month, a performance 32% superior to its nearest rival, VW’s Tiguan (536 units). Other mid-sized SUVs which showed moderate sales volumes in May were Nissan’s X-Trail (447) and Hyundai’s Tucson (419).

                                                                                                Image: Motorpress

The market trajectory is obvious, though, with Rav4 being by far the most popular vehicle in its class and having already established a huge lead in sales momentum. 

Fortuner back on top

In April the Rav4 distinguished itself by besting Fortuner as the South Arica’s most popular SUV. This was a black swan moment in the local market, as Fortuner had been the best-selling South African SUV for more than a decade. May saw a reversal back to that trend. 

                                                                                               Image: Quickpic

Fortuner produced a stellar sales performance in the fifth month of this year, with 1319 vehicles retailed through Toyota’s local dealer network. Not only did Fortuner retain its dominant SUV sales position from Rav4, it is now almost comically dominant in its segment. 

The nearest rival is Ford’s Everest, which benefitted from a product upgrade in May, and might have suffered some inventory issues as the newer vehicles were being allocated to dealers. Despite this, Fortuner sold 362% more volume than Everest – which totalled only 285 units. 

Toyota Land Cruiser 200

                                                                                                        Image: Motorpress

Isuzu languishes in third place overall, with its MU-X selling 58 units, 2147% less than Fortuner. More worrying was Mitsubishi’s performance, with only 33 Pajero Sports being sold, which means Fortuner outsold it by a staggering 3896%. The Toyota SUV numbers between Rav4 and Fortuner are tremendous.

Without including the brand’s three Land Cruiser model ranges (70 Series, Prado and 200 Series), Toyota’s local Rav4 and Fortuner retail was 2027 units strong in May – bigger than Renault’s entire South African business. And Renault is the country’s sixth most successful brand by volume.

                                                                                                 Image: Quickpic

Will Toyota continue its SUV trend for June? There are no risks to its sales momentum. Ford might post stronger full-size SUV sales in June, as its upgraded Everest will be on sale for a full month, but it is unlikely to make up the near fivefold advantage that Fortuner has over it. 

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