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Market Insight: Toyota’s ‘20:20’ success
Industry moving ‘in right direction’ as Toyota hits own share, hybrid sales targets
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31 Aug 2020
TOYOTA Australia says the new-vehicle market is “moving in the right direction” as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh heavily on the industry, but the company anticipates the total market might only reach 850,000 sales for the 2020 calendar year.
This would represent a significant downturn of almost 213,000 vehicle sales – or 20 per cent – compared to last year’s 1,062,867 new registrations recorded by the industry, which to the end of July is currently down 19.2 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Speaking at the launch of the new-generation Yaris, Toyota Australia vice-president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said Toyota, which is the dominant player in the local marketplace, had found it could “confidently navigate through this pandemic” and that it was tracking well in terms of overall market share and other parameters.
Its overall sales volume to the end of July is down 7.7 per cent, which is much shallower than the industry average, with Mr Hanley pointing to the success of its broad hybrid model rollout as a key area of competitive advantage.
He also said that Toyota has no plans to introduce a new model to slot in underneath the Yaris city car to recover any lost volume from budget-conscious buyers now that the new generation has moved upmarket to start above $22,000 plus on-road costs.
Furthermore, Mr Hanley revealed that Toyota never considered the possibility of leaving the shrinking light passenger car segment altogether – as many of its rivals have done – once it became apparent that the new Yaris would no longer be a sub-$20,000 proposition.
“In answer to: ‘Will Toyota ever have a car below $20,000 again?’ Well, it certainly, if the question revolves around, ‘Will this particular car be priced below $20,000?’, well we have no plans to do that,” he said.
“The market is changing all the time, we have no plans to have or introduce a car sub-Yaris … but we do have a credible alternative in Toyota Certified Pre-Owned, which is a very important part of our line-up going forward.
“What you’re seeing here today is a strategic shift in our approach, but we are and remain confident of the performance and the role that this new-generation Yaris will play in the Toyota line-up going forward.
“I think this is a car that has a broad appeal … for those that are entering the Toyota brand, it has a broad appeal for those that are maybe downsizing either within the Toyota brand or indeed coming from outside of the Toyota brand.
“No, there was never any consideration for Toyota Australia not to bring the Yaris hatch to market.
“We are seeing though, in fairness, that market in decline. However, upon our evaluation, it’s still a significant market that we believe Toyota needs to be involved in in Australia.
“There’s no plan at all to bring a smaller new car than Yaris to Australia.”
In terms of the industry’s performance and the brand’s overall sales, Mr Hanley described the economic impact of COVID-19 as “troubling” but added that “the trend for new-vehicle sales seems to be moving in the right direction”.
“If that continues, the full-year number could be around 850,000 sales although we do need to assess over time the impact of Stage 4 restrictions in metro Melbourne,” he said.
“Toyota’s sales momentum and the trust in our brand is ensuring we are able to confidently navigate through this pandemic.
“In fact, we are ahead of our 20:20:20 target – that’s a 20 per cent market share in 2020 with a hybrid mix of 20 per cent.
“Our overall share to the end of July is 22 per cent, almost three percentage points ahead of last year.
“So if you look at the trend, we’ve been above 20 per cent all year; in fact, the past 10 months in a row.
“This is a consistent result for Toyota month in, month out, and it includes each of the six months before COVID-19 actually hit.”
Mr Hanley stressed that “one of the key competitive advantages for Toyota in this market is our electrification strategy with hybrid”.
“Our total hybrid sales this year have risen by a staggering 97 per cent with more than 27,300 hybrid delivered to customers to the end of July,” he said.
“That’s just 500 fewer than the whole of last year.
“It puts our total hybrid share at 24.1 per cent – almost a quarter.
“So rather than 20:20:20, we have a 22 per cent market share in 2020 with a 24 per cent hybrid mix.
“In July, our hybrid sales went to another level – an all-time monthly record of more than 6300 cars.
“You know, we also achieved record penetration with four out of every 10 vehicles our dealers sold being a hybrid.
“The demand for RAV4 has been extraordinary – it is Australia’s best-selling SUV and in July it was Australia’s best-selling vehicle, full stop.
“Total RAV4 sales have grown more than 40 per cent this year and hybrids now account for more than 60 per cent of the model sales.
“This is one of the primary reasons that SUVs, for the first time in the history of our industry, accounted for more than half of all new-vehicle sales in July.
“But RAV4 is not alone in the hybrid success story, let me tell you.
“Corolla is next with 8200 hybrids this year, which is 52.4 per cent of total sales, and Camry, Camry is doing the best in percentage terms at 65.1 per cent with more than 5000 hybrids sales.
“Who said electrification is not taking off in Australia?”
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