Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) said this week it sold 10 000 vehicles in August. File picture: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko
Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) said this week it sold 10 000 vehicles in August. File picture: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Toyota South Africa confirms 10 000 new vehicle sales

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Sep 5, 2021

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Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) said this week it sold 10 000 vehicles in August as the domestic market recovered from the mayhem in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng last month. The group said the August sales saw it surge to the top of the leader board for the eighth consecutive month this year.

TSAM senior vice-president of sales and marketing Leon Theron said the group had managed an average market share of 24.9 percent – which was encouraging in the current economic climate.

“Ongoing challenges in the domestic new vehicle segment are worrying, although Toyota is once again the only motor manufacturer that has successfully breached the 10000 sales threshold in the last few years,” said Theron.

Suzuki hit an all-time high with total sales of 2470 vehicles in August, jumping to fifth position behind Toyota, including Lexus and Hino; Volkswagen, including Audi; and Nissan, including Datsun and Hyundai. “This is the highest overall position ever for Suzuki,” the car maker said this week.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), the automotive industry business council, this week announced confidence-inspiring new vehicle sales figures for August.

Naamsa said new vehicle sales increased by 24.6 percent to 41 425 units, up from 33 259 vehicles in the previous year.

However, export sales bore the brunt of the cyberattack at Transnet and fell by 15.6 percent, to 19 446 units this year compared to the 23 029 vehicles exported a year earlier.

Naamsa said the return of the adjusted Level 3 lockdown regulations and the improvement to civil stability supported the new vehicle market’s gradual recovery during the month.

“Although the knock-on effects of the economic disruptions caused by the civil unrest in July 2021 and the cyberattack on Transnet operations negatively impacted on the industry’s export performance during the month, the domestic automotive industry will continue to benefit from the strong rebound in global economic activity in 2021 and the favourable conditions abroad,” Naamsa said.

The recovery comes after a survey last month by Naamsa found the bulk of CEOs were extremely positive about the automotive industry’s key performance and believed the general automotive business conditions would continue to improve over the next six months. Lebogang Gaoaketse, Wesbank’s head of communication, shared the confidence expressed by motor industry chief executives in Naamsa’s survey. “To have this environment amplified by industry confidence will help to continue to build momentum in the market’s recovery, preserving jobs and fulfilling demand,” he said.

Economists said the upturn in the market was expected to continue but grim employment prospects would probably weigh heavily on passenger vehicle sales in the coming months.

Nedbank Economic Unit said the exports still had a long way to go to return to the pre-crisis level as total units exported were 41.1 percent lower than the 2017 to 2019 average and were down by 55.8 percent compared with the August 2019 levels.

“Passenger and commercial cars performed poorly on both counts, but cars took the hardest knock,” it said.

It said the upside in passenger sales would partly be contained by fragile confidence, weighed down by poor employment prospects, the slow vaccine roll-out and an uncertain economic outlook.

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