By Otsile Kadiege
The sixth instalment of the State of the Motor Industry has come to an end. Hosts, Toyota South Africa, reflected on the previous year by sharing some details of their sales performance locally. The president and CEO of Toyota SA also shared 2023 sales predictions and also touched of the brand’s approach to Carbon Neutrality. TSAM also unveiled a bunch of new vehicles which will be launched on local soil throughout the year.
2022 TSAM sales
Toyota (including the Lexus and Hino brands) outperformed a number of retail challenges to achieve a laudable total of 132 035 new-vehicle registrations. This translates to a market share of 24.9% for 2022. “Despite our challenges we retained a very similar market share to 2021 (25%). Of course, our share would have been bigger had we not had the supply constraints due to non-production caused by floods at our plant in Durban,” says Leon Theron, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TSAM.
2023 TSAM sales forecast and Carbon Neutrality approach
Andrew Kerby, President and CEO of TSAM, predicts that a total of 570 000 vehicles will be sold in South Africa this year – including 375 642 for Passenger, 161 317 for Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) and 33 041 for others. “We got to this calculation based on how we see the market, coupled with what we can physically supply as Toyota. I must just stress that if stock constraints weren’t a real factor, we would actually be forecasting a 580 000 market.”
Last year, Kirby had predicted a total of 540 000 vehicles to be sold in South Africa in 2022. However, a totally unexpected challenge came in the form of the floods in April which resulted in the complete halt of production for three months at Toyota’s Prospecton Plant in Durban. This coupled with the now well-publicised shipping delays at the Durban port really impacted Toyota’s ability to reach its targets and so by extension, this had a ripple effect on the whole industry. A total of 528 963 units sold was recorded in 2022.
Also high up on the SOMI agenda was Toyota’s Carbon Neutral messaging. Kirby explained that: “Toyota takes a holistic approach to Carbon Neutrality, which means that the company addresses carbon from a lifecycle assessment perspective where carbon emissions are tackled throughout the value chain; not just targeting the end product which is a vehicle with zero emissions. This touches on many areas including how we source materials from our suppliers, how we manufacture our cars, what powertrains we put in them, how we sell them and even how we dispose of them at the end.”
From an operations perspective, TSAM is on course to achieve carbon neutrality for its production plant in Durban by 2035. The organisation plans to be able to generate 100% renewable energy electricity by 2028 and is proud to share that the Hino Plant in Durban is already off the grid while the Atlas Warehouse is on track to achieve that by 2025.
New models to expect from TSAM
Leon Theron also previewed a number of vehicles TSAM will launch throughout the year. These new models are as follows:
Toyota Urban Cruiser – this new model will replace the current Urban Cruiser. It’s based on the new Suzuki Grand Vitara and will be built in India where it’s known as the Urban Cruiser Hyryder. We should expect it to be launched some time during the second quarter of 2023.
Toyota Vitz – Another Suzuki-based model which will be launched during the second half of 2023 is the new Vitz which replaces the Toyota Agya which shares the underpinnings with the Daihatsu Ayla.
Toyota Crown sedan – this is perhaps one of the most anticipated new Toyota vehicles for 2023. The Crown is powered by a 2.5 E-Four Hybrid boasts a total system output of 176kW and a claimed fuel consumption of 4.4l/100km. Unfortunately it will be sold in limited numbers.
Toyota Fortuner – The popular Fortuner will receive yet another facelift with minor changes including revised LED headlamps, front grille and bumper treatment. There is also an added red and black interior trim option. The updated model will arrive at dealers this February.
Toyota Mirai – This sleek sedan is a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicle which is in SA for research purposes only.
Toyota’s luxury arm – Lexus – also previewed three vehicles, namely the fully electric UX with up to 450 km driving range, the plug-in hybrid NX with a pure electric driving range of 60 km and the new RX which will join the range later on this year.
The last item of the SOMI prorgramme was, of course, the announcement of this year’s GR Cup Competition driver lineup. This initiative sees six local journalists battling it out on various racetracks in SA, all piloting the fabled Toyota GR 86. They include Brendon Staniforth, Denis Droppa, Setshaba Mashigo, Chad Luckhoff, Mark Jones and Reuben van Niekerk. Their first race kicks off at Zwartkops Raceway on 18 February.
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