- Toyota predicts that 570 000 vehicles will be sold in South Africa in 2023.
- Toyota is planning an aggressive new model rollout this year.
- The all-new Urban Cruiser will go on sale in the second quarter of 2023.
Toyota's annual State of the Motor Industry event highlighted the brand's plans to continue its market dominance into 2023 and gave a preview of their corporate plans and 2023 product offerings.
2023 sales prediction
President and CEO of Toyota Motors South Africa, Andrew Kirby, predicts that in 2023 the total South African vehicle market will sell 570 000 vehicles, including 375 642 passenger vehicles and 161 317 light commercial vehicles.
"This figure is based on how we see the market, coupled with what we, as Toyota, can physically supply. If stock constraints weren't a real factor, we would be forecasting a total market of 580 000," says Kirby.
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Last year, Kirby forecasted that 540 000 vehicles would be sold. However, a totally unexpected challenge in the form of severe floods, which saw production cease for three months at Toyota's Prospecton Plant in Durban, put a damper on those plans. This, coupled with ongoing shipping delays at the Durban Port, severely impacted Toyota's ability to reach its targets and influenced the entire industry. The result was that the industry fell short of the initial prediction, selling 528 963 vehicles by December last year.
Continued sales success
2022 saw Toyota record its 43rd year as the market leader in South Africa. Toyota, including the Lexus and Hino brands, outperformed several retail challenges to achieve an impressive 132 035 new vehicle registrations, which translates to a market share of 24.9% for the year.
Toyota plans to continue this market dominance and unveiled a variety of new models which will assist in reaching that goal.
Models for the future
Toyota South Africa Motors is currently evaluating several new energy vehicles for local introduction. The Toyota Mirai is the company's flagship hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicle. Testing of this model allows TSAM to undertake local research, along with local players, while at the same time helping government see the potential of a green hydrogen society. Toyota's ongoing collaboration with Sasol will move to the next step thanks to the availability of such models.
Also shown was the Lexus UX BEV, which will be one of the first BEVs to go on sale locally. It features the equivalent of 150kW, which translates to a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.5 seconds and a range of 450km. The Lexus NX PHEV features a 60km range in full electric mode and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.2 seconds. The new generation RX range comprises five models, including a hybrid and petrol variant and a plug-in hybrid, which will join the local offering later this year.
New models headed to SA
The beautiful 16th-generation Toyota Crown has been confirmed for local introduction. Initially, it will only be available as a sample introduction, with a few units available this year. Under the bonnet, the Crown boasts a 2.5E hybrid unit with a total system output of 176kW while using just 4.4 litres per 100km.
The refreshed Toyota Fortuner now boasts aggressive new styling up front, along with revised LED headlights, front grille and bumper treatment. The interior remains essentially unchanged but is now available with a red and black interior trim option. The updated Fortuner will be available in dealerships from February.
The Toyota Vitz will take over from the outgoing Agya in the important A-segment of the market. It features a 1.0-litre engine and will be in showrooms from the second quarter of 2023.
The Toyota Urban Cruiser has been a runaway success since its local launch. The latest model boasts an entirely all-new SUV design, a larger body with visibly more interior space, increased safety specification and creature comforts such as climate control, cruise control and a reverse camera.
The all-new Urban Cruiser will go on sale in the second quarter of 2023. It's already making heads turn and has yet to be launched. With such stunning good looks, there's no doubt the new model will sell like hotcakes too.
Toyota GR Cup
The Toyota GR Cup returns for 2023 and will see six journalists battle it out on racetracks around the country in identical Toyota GR86 race cars. This year's drivers include Brendon Staniforth, Denis Droppa, Setshaba Mashigo, Chad Luckhoff, Mark Jones and Reuben van Niekerk. The first race kicks off at Zwartkops Raceway on 18 February.