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TOYOTA FIGHTS RECESSION
In the midst of the financial crisis and global recession, Toyota again lead the way in New Zealand last year - as the market leader for the 22nd year in succession.
Toyota's CEO Alistair Davis addressed motoring journalists at the launch of the new Hybrid Camry explaining how Toyota in New Zealand had survived the financial crisis and how it was handling the improving market in 2010.
"Key contributors to Toyota's success in 2009 were a near record market share, despite massive yen appreciation against all other currencies, and the continued strength of the two mainstay passenger and commercial models, Corolla and Hilux," he said.
Mr Davis said Toyota's Signature Class used vehicle brand remained strong achieving a record year of sales, 7,534, almost 500 vehicles more than Holden sold in new vehicles last year.
"Significant improvements have been made to the paint shop in Toyota's refurbishment plant, making it a world class facility, more efficient and with a reduced environmental impact."
Mr Davis said the other aspects of Toyota's business that have remained strong were Toyota Finance, and increased vehicle servicing.
"Despite Toyota's efforts to build a strong position within the motor vehicle industry in New Zealand, total new vehicle sales have been hard hit in New Zealand with sales down 32 percent compared to pre-recession 2007 results, used imports down 46 per cent and even changes of ownerships have been down 8 per cent. That amounts to 150,000 fewer vehicle sales," Mr Davis said.
Throughout the tough times, Mr Davis said Toyota has not lost any dealers nor made any distributor redundancies.
"Part of the reason we've weathered the recession well has been that we sell a lot more vehicles than most of our competitors. Toyota's used vehicle business made a significant contribution to the business this last year."
"The second significant factor that helps the Toyota business is that the number of Toyota vehicles on New Zealand roads is so large compared with everyone else. 22 years of market leadership together with a 25-30 per cent share of used imports over the past two decades have given us a monumental advantage in terms of customer awareness, acceptance and service business that has strengthened the franchise in the open market."