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Toyota aims for record domination

On the way up: Toyota Australia still has a goal to achieve 25 per cent market share.

Better supply, new models and strong market could help Toyota hit 25 per cent

Toyota logo25 Feb 2013


TOYOTA says it is back on track to achieve 25 per cent market share thanks to improved supplies, refreshed product and continuing strong consumer demand in a buoyant market.

This is despite the company’s volume last month dipping 10 per cent – in a market that rose 11.3 per cent – due to Camry stock shortages that resulted from record sales in December.

But with the Altona plant back up to speed after the summer break shutdown, Toyota says it will have full Camry and Aurion stocks by the middle of March.

Toyota Australia executive vice-president and chief operating officer David Buttner said that a number of factors are in place for Toyota to resume its growth trend in Australia.

“(Last year) we saw our volume grow by just over 20 per cent, and our share is getting back over 20 per cent,” he said.

“So we have our sights very firmly set on in excess of 200,000 (units) for the ninth consecutive year (in 2013), to capitalise on the product opportunities that we have, to ensure we keep pushing the volume and supporting our dealer network.

 center imageLeft: Toyota Australia executive vice-president and chief operating officer David Buttner.

“I don’t know whether (the total new-vehicle market) will go to 1.1 million, but it is shaping up to be another million-unit market again, and that’s still a fantastic result for the marketplace.

“January started off very strongly – 10 per cent up on the previous year – so all the signs are there that consumers are still willing to buy, their confidence is still high, they have a great choice of product, and there is great value for money, so hopefully we will be able to participate in that big market.

“I think generally the economy’s in good shape. All the key performance indicators are tracking positively, they’re all where they’re expected to be with the Consumer Price Index and what not, and interest rates are still holding at three per cent, which is the lowest they’ve been in a very long time, and consumer confidence is still very strong, so I don’t see any dark clouds on the horizon.”

Without setting a timeframe, Mr Buttner said Toyota intends to achieve 25 per cent market share in Australia by adhering to core company values – specifically, making buyers happy – even though this country has one of the most fiercely competitive markets in the world.

“Yes, 25 per cent is still the solid goal that we have, but it depends on circumstance,” he said.

“It is a very, very competitive marketplace, something like 60 brands in Australia right now with over 300 models in a market of a million and a population of 23 million.

“And if you compare that with the populations of the United States or China, where the brands are about 30 and the models 200 but with populations well in excess of ours, it’s a very competitive market.

“So we focus on value-for-money products for our customers and not on pursuing 25 per cent of the market.”

For 2013, the main vehicle products in question are the fourth-generation RAV4 released in Australia last week, as well as the second phase of Toyota’s small-car rollout – the replacement for the ageing current-shape Corolla sedan.

Contrary to reports, the Corolla sedan will not be the US-based model previewed as the Furia Concept at this year’s Detroit auto show, but rather a new one designed primarily for this part of the world.

“There are two Corolla (sedans). The one you saw at Detroit is really purely a US version.

“Our Corolla will not be that vehicle. It will be more aligned with the one developed for the Asia/Pacific marketplace, which we are part of, and we will get that product later on. It hasn’t been shown anywhere in the world.”

While Mr Buttner promised it will reflect Toyota’s renewed emphasis on quality, customer satisfaction and fun.

“If you look at what’s been happening at Toyota under Akio Toyoda, there have been definitive changes with styling and design, and they’ve been very positive,” he said.

“It’s been his mandate to take the company back to the roots that his grandfather started, by providing products that are fun to drive and great to look at, and to ensure they focus on the customer.

“We’ve seen that with the latest Yaris and Corolla Hatch.”

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