Toyota once again hosted the State of the Motor Industry (SOMI) event for 2024. The event aims to reflect on the motor industry market from the previous year, taking into account the economy as a whole. Simultaneously it casts a light on expected industry trends, and of course, plans by Toyota for the coming 12 months.
As has been the case over most of the 8 years SOMI has been held, the sassy journalist and MC Devi Govender was the event host. On stage was company CEO Andrew Kirby who kicked off proceedings by presenting a summary of the 2023 market.
The market was predicted by Toyota to sell 570 000 units in 2023, but unfortunately fell 7% short of this to 532 098 units, due to several economic reasons. Nevertheless, Toyota itself had a very good sales year. The Passenger Car segment, according to Kirby, remains the biggest market segment at 65%. Light Commercial Vehicles (including bakkies) came second.
Leon Theron – Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing – was able to share some sales figures specific to Toyota. He says the company sold 142 612 vehicles in 2023. Incredibly, Toyota achieved a record-breaking:
• 26.8% total market share
• 44 consecutive years of market leadership
Of the new vehicles sold by the company in 2023, the Corolla Cross lead the way in its segment, with 22 592 units sold. Corolla Quest came second with 5 831 cars sold. Contrary to popular belief, only around 13% of Quest goes to e-hailing car buyers. Corolla sedan was third with 577.
The Fortuner remains the leading SUV in the large SUV segment at Toyota, having shifted 10 384 units in 2023. Keep in mind this was mainly the updated version. Fortuner also leads its segment outside of Toyota, with a massive 51% market share. Rivals are also left in the dust. The new Land Cruiser 300 or LC300 sold really well for the segment and prices, at 2 332 units. The outgoing Prado pushed 1 274 units in its last full year.
Kirby reiterates that Toyota has a multi-pronged approach to the future of mobility. There is still space for petrol and diesel cars, as well as Hybrids and full-electrics. And both the Toyota and Lexus brands are soon to launch new EVs in Mzansi.
The Toyota brand aims to be selling about 3.5 million electric cars worldwide by 2030. Lexus will be selling only electric cars from 2035.
And finally, Kirby went conservative with his total new vehicle sales prediction for 2024 this time around. He says Toyota is expecting this figure to be a mild, but still optimistic 540 000 units. We hope this number is achieved and even surpassed. New vehicle sales are a key economic indicator. The higher that number, the better in shape the economy is.