• Toyota South Africa posted its best passenger car sales figure of 2020.
• The data from October's sales illustrated a total of 5575 units sold.
• The carmaker's new Starlet hatchback accounted for over 1100 sales.
Toyota's replacement for its Etios, the Starlet has made a big splash in the market by registering 1102 units sold in October. Its performance spurred the Japanese company into its best passenger car sales month yet of 5755 units.
The Suzuki-built Starlet was launched towards the end of September, helping the company beat its previous best monthly sale figures of 4610 in February.
Toyota SA's passenger figures were also aided by their Fortuner SUV which registered 1349 sales and its Corolla family of cars (1024) – including Quest, Corolla Hatch and Sedan – as well as the outgoing Etios (826).
In the upper end of the SUV spectrum, the Land Cruiser family of vehicles – though not only limited to passenger cars – recorded a total of 546 hi-riders last month. These included 137 Prado, 55 Land Cruiser 200, 10 FJ Cruiser, eight Land Cruiser Station Wagon and a massive 336 Land Cruiser Pick-up models.
The carmaker's luxury arm, Lexus, sold 14 NX models, 12 LX and 11 and RX SUVs.
According to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TSAM, Leon Theron: "The recent launch of the Starlet is part of TSAM' s strategy to bolster our sales in the passenger car segment. We hope that the Starlet will be an appealing offering to young people and rental companies alike – due to its competitive pricing as well as its visually enticing aesthetics."
Reflecting on the new vehicle sales for the month of October 2020, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), confirmed that the downward trajectory continued – albeit at a slower pace – with aggregate domestic sales at 38 752 units showing a decline of 13 216 units, or 25.4% from the 51 968 vehicles sold in October last year.
Naamsa also noted that the new passenger car market at 26 793 units had registered a decline of 9106 cars or a fall of 25.4% compared to the 35 899 new cars sold in October last year.
"Despite shrinking disposable income and volatile trading conditions, we are still pleased with Toyota' s performance year-to-date. All credit has to go our dealer network, our loyal customer base, sales and marketing, manufacturing, parts' warehouse and suppliers for their continued efforts to make ours a success story in SA. We also appreciate sterling efforts of our fleet owners and car rental companies for their continued support and loyalty," concludes Theron.