Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux. Image: Supplied

Toyota Hilux weathers the rough as bakkies buoy July new vehicle sales

Hilux proves its mettle in tough economic conditions, keeps sales steady while steering Toyota into commanding 23% overall market share.

Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux. Image: Supplied

Despite exceptionally challenging market conditions, there is much that still keeps going right for Toyota which recorded a strong overall market share of 23% for the July trading month.

Toyota’s latest monthly sales performance statement comes amid this week’s release of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturer’s (Naamsa) sobering report and commentary on the industry’s second quarter 2020 sales performance.

The Naamsa report – which painted a bleak picture of an industry under severe pressure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – however also reported an improved showing for the new light commercial vehicle segment over the new passenger car segment.

This was echoed in Toyota’s statements around its sales performance for July.


Commenting that Hilux sales had kept steady in the tough economic climate, Toyota said 3 575 Hilux models had found new homes in South Africa.

Noting that the sales data had “proved the bakkie’s status as the country’s favourite vehicle once more”, the automaker said the Hilux, along with the rest of the range had placed Toyota ahead of its nearest competitor by 2 389 units, to achieve 7 464 new car and truck sales for the month.

Toyota said this equated to an overall market share of 23%.


Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) senior vice-president of sales and marketing Leon Theron said: “The COVID-19-induced economic uncertainty and its ramifications are mostly to blame for the current consumer market.

“Retail conditions are tough and consumer sentiment is cautious and conservative.

“The overall market decline of 35.8%, compared to July 2019, is a cause for concern in the industry as a whole. That said, Toyota managed to maintain a steady market share, registering 23% last month.

“This figure proves that in these tough and uncertain times, people buy the brands they know and trust, and Toyota’s value proposition speaks to that and more.”


Other than Hilux, which assisted TSAM to secure a 43.8% share in the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment, the Toyota’s evergreen Hiace recorded 989 sales. In the passenger segment, Corolla Quest and Etios registered totals of 488 and 454, respectively.

Theron said TSAM was also pleased to have registered a total of 117 270 parts sales and vehicles services last month.


“According to the Naamsa, the July new passenger car market registered a substantial decline of 10 552 cars or a fall of 35.8% to 18 905 units compared to the 29 457 new cars sold in July last year. The association attributes part of the decline in passenger sales to lockdown restrictions – especially those relating to the tourism industry,” said Theron, echoing Naamsa’s latest report.

Naamsa cautioned that: “considering the most recent projected negative annualised GDP growth in the country of 7,3% by the SA Reserve Bank, it does not bode well for the outlook on domestic demand for new vehicles over the short term…

“However, a recovery in the new vehicle market will most likely depend on how quickly the economy can break out of its low growth trap and how soon society will recover from the present COVID-19 lockdown.”


Theron said he remained cautiously optimistic as to what the market will offer the industry in the remaining months of the year.

“There is no challenge too big for Team Toyota, and I’m grateful to the entire crew – including sales, marketing and parts, as well as our plant and dealer network for the commendable work ethic they have shown over the past few months.

“We continue trusting in our product offering as well as our strong dealer network to keep us SA’s favourite motoring brand,” concluded Theron.