Toyota: an integral part of South Africa’s DNA

Toyota: an integral part of South Africa’s DNA

Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) is celebrating a frankly astounding 42 years as the best-selling automotive brand in South Africa this month, boasting over 25% market share for the first time since 2003.

Since setting up on these shores over 60 years ago, Toyota has become a vibrant thread in South Africa’s cultural tapestry. TSAM has forged an identity as a shaper of culture, always aiming to provide positive contributions to the country we all hold dear to our hearts. This has played a pivotal role in cementing the company’s ongoing market leadership – Toyota is in our DNA!

With a 25,4% market share and an aggregate of 117 659 units delivered by TSAM in 2021, this means that one in every four vehicles sold in SA last year was a Toyota product. This should not come as much of a surprise though, as Toyota has been delivering a share of over 20% for the last five years – an unprecedented achievement in the local automotive market in recent times.

TSAM’s supremacy is perhaps best reflected by its 42,2% light commercial vehicle (LCV) market share – the company’s highest market share ever in this segment for the second year running following its 41,9% LCV market share in 2020. Local favourite the Hilux, as might be expected, spearheaded this push to retain its crown as South Africa’s best-selling vehicle, with double cabs making up the majority of the 36 085 unit sales. The Hiace also continued its reign as South Africa’s “people mover” of choice, selling 15 699 models, while these two heroes of the LCV market were ably supported by other models including the Land Cruiser pick-up and the Dyna.

In the medium commercial vehicle (MCV) segment, Toyota’s truck division Hino also cornered a quarter of the market (25,1%), while it also secured 5,5% of heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) sales. TSAM has also expressed pride in the 16 million items distributed to domestic dealers and four million pieces shipped outside the country by its parts supply business in 2021.

A 19,2% share in the passenger segment, meanwhile, represents Toyota’s best showing in 12 years. This comes in the wake of the introduction of the Corolla Cross in October and its stellar performance in the last two months of the year. The arrival of the Corolla Cross is indicative of the role Toyota plays in driving the country forward, as it represents the first generation of commercial-scale hybrid electric vehicles to come off a South African assembly line. As president Cyril Ramaphosa noted in his keynote address at TSAM’s Prospecton facility, SA is one of just seven locations worldwide where the Corolla Cross will be produced, and the investment of ZAR 2,6 billion is significant for the national economy, while “(This) is also about South Africa embracing the opportunities of the green economy, greening our country and continent, and making sure that South Africa benefits.”

This is not the first time Toyota has invested heavily in South Africa. The country is regularly in the top 10 export destinations for Hino, while more than one billion rand was spent on TSAM’s production facilities in Prospecton during the early 2010s, including ZAR 55 million to build a new Hino truck plant in 2013, followed by a further ZAR 6,1 billion investment in 2016 in supplier and in-house tooling and in-house facilities and buildings.

In 2013 it was also reported that almost half of the Hino national dealer network had invested in new or revamped premises in the previous three years to the tune of well over ZAR 100 million. This supports the company’s assertion that its success over the years has not just been about brand identity (although Toyota has also been a trailblazer in this metric) or product quality, but about building strong relationships.

“When we established the brand in South Africa in 1961, we focused on establishing a wide dealer network that directly serves customers,” says Leon Theron, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at TSAM. He also pays tribute to the support provided by everyone involved in this network: “We genuinely appreciate all those who have been part of the Toyota journey to date, including dealers and staff, as well as all the various brand ambassadors and customers.”

Globally, the Hino500 Series truck continues to make waves in the gruelling Dakar Rally, boasting the best reliability record of any competing manufacturer with 30 consecutive finishes since entering for the first time in 1991, while the Hino is currently on a 12-year winning streak in the 10-litre or smaller truck class.

It is exactly this dogged determination and commitment to excellence that epitomises Toyota’s approach and is sure to see TSAM continue to drive the wheels of progress in the South African automotive market for many years to come, as it closes in on half a century of market leadership.

In the safe embrace of the Hiace Ses’fikile

Toyota has announced a raft of new active safety systems for its much-vaunted people mover, the Hiace Ses’fikile. Following on from the recent addition of the driver guard, this turns the focus onto enhanced safety for the rest of the vehicle occupants – the people supporting our economy who are shuttled to and from work every day in the Hiace.

Vehicle stability control headlines the additional safety features and is complemented by brake assist, hill assist control, and traction control. When coupled with the existing ABS on the Hiace, these new functions are aimed at helping drivers to maintain vehicle control in a variety of conditions to provide enhanced safety, while an emergency brake signal flashes the taillights to warn other vehicles. In another targeted upgrade, the Hiace Ses’fikile now also features a new hooter design with enhanced durability.

Customers can also have complete peace of mind thanks to the six services/60 000 km service plan and three-year/100 000 km warranty on all Hiace models, while they can also purchase upgrades for these plans at any Toyota dealer nationwide.

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FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publication in southern Africa.
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