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State of the Motoring Industry 2024, as seen by Toyota SA

Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) hosted the seventh instalment of the popular State of the Motor Industry (SOMI) event at Kyalami recently. And as per usual, it was a cutting-edge look into 2024 on a wide variety of topics. The models, the expectations and the targets.   

A multi-layered activation, SOMI ’24 provided the perfect platform for TSAM’s President and CEO, Andrew Kirby, to sketch the true state of the motor industry from the unique vantage point of SA’s most popular automotive brand. It also provided a good opportunity for Leon Theron, TSAM’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, to showcase a number of all-new models from the stable’s various brands. A surprise element in the form of the 2024 Dakar Press Conference was added to the programme.

Andrew Kirby on the ‘Year that Was’

Citing monetary and structural challenges such as an elevated repo rate (8,5% in 2023), depreciating Rand (13% down on the dollar last year), a record-breaking 332 days with load shedding, and up to a five-week backlog at the country’s ports, Kirby made clear that this negatively impacted GDP and therefore concomitantly business confidence as well.

This was reflected in the automotive sales for the year – the first quarter started off really positively and the industry was on track to achieve the 570,000 prediction made by Toyota at last year’s SOMI. However, sales started to stagnate, especially after the second half of the year and this means that the final tally for the year was 532,098 – just 0,5% up on 22’s numbers.

Andrew Kirby

Andrew Kirby

Positively SA

Nevertheless, there are still some positives – South Africa is seen as a very competitive car market as evidenced by the number of new entrants that entered the market last year. There were two all-new passenger brands, three in LCV and two in commercial that established themselves in SA in this period. Even more compelling was the number of new individual models that were added – the big increases coming in the most popular segments namely B and Sub-B which saw an additional 12 new variants (an indicator of the appetite for vehicles at the affordable end of the market), five in Double Cab and a staggering 29 in the Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle space. The latter is directly attributable to the logistical issues facing South Africa, particularly in rail transport.

In line with global trends, South Africa experienced heightened demand for New Energy Vehicles with a 65% volume increase in 2023, but this is off a relatively small base – total number of NEVs sold totalled 7,693. As expected, by far the biggest volume contributors coming from hybrid variants (84%).

 

Leon Theron on Toyota’s Sales Performance

Toyota bucked the negative retail trend by ending off the year on 142,612 units, which was not only the highest volume sold since 2007, it also equated to the company’s best market share on record. Toyota has been the bestselling automotive brand in South Africa for 44 years, it’s also the only manufacturer with representation in just about all segments of the new vehicle market.

 

Given its topicality, Theron focused on Toyota’s dominance in the New Energy Vehicle (NEV) space:

  • Toyota’s overall share is 53%
  • 22% increase in NEV volume sales over 2022
  • Corolla Cross Hybrid makes up the lion share of Toyota NEV sales (55%)
  • Lexus NEV volumes accounted for a record 42,5% of total Lexus sales in ‘23

Andrew Kirby’s Sales Forecast for 2024:

  • Total Sales – 540,000 (slightly up from SA’s 2023 total of 532,098)
  • Passenger – 355,871
  • LCV – 152,827
  • Other – 31,301

 

New Models Revealed:

Toyota Land Cruiser 70 

Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Hilux GR-S III_1

Toyota Hi Lux GR S

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado_1

Toyota Land Crusier

Toyota Starlet SupaCup Car_1

Toyota Starlet Supra

(all images supplied)

Land Cruiser 70 Series, launching February 2024.

Land Cruiser Prado, launching April 2024

Toyota Hilux 48V, launching March 2024

Toyota bZ4X, launching ’25

Lexus RZ, launching Lexus RZ early in 2025

Hilux GR S III, launching March 2024

 

As can be seen, it going to be a busy year for Toyota SA. Read all about it right here as I bring you the latest from the launches of all the vehicles from the Toyota stable.