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Toyota comes through the tsunami bloodied but is still a force to be reckoned with

"Toyota has come through the aftermath of the tsunami bloodied but unbowed and is still a force to be reckoned with," said Toyota's CEO Alistair Davis addressing motoring journalists at the launch of Toyota's refreshed 2012 Hilux in Queenstown today.

Mr Davis told journalists that the impact of the Japanese disaster in March affected suppliers of parts for Toyota motor vehicles limiting supply, taking until May to gradually rebuild capability across the range to back to normal.

Manufacturing plants operated below capacity for subsequent months until full parts supply was restored which Mr Davis says naturally affected the quantity of vehicles supplied to New Zealand.

"Prior to the earthquake, total new vehicle sales across New Zealand were running 15 per cent ahead of last year, and in the subsequent quarter, they were 1.4 per cent lower."

As supply becomes available, Mr Davis predicts volumes in the third quarter will be back to 15 per cent ahead of last year.

Similar to the overall new vehicle sales trend, Toyota's first quarter was up a staggering 26 per cent, however in the second quarter sales were down 29 per cent on last year as Toyota endeavoured to get by on far fewer vehicles supplied.

Mr Davis says the vehicles mostly affected by the supply issues in New Zealand were Yaris, Corolla, all SUVs, Previa, Landcruiser and Lexus CT200h.

"By the end of the year, Toyota New Zealand hopes to have sold a little over 18,000 vehicles, down from the 18,438 sold last year and well below the original outlook of 20,000 plus.

Despite all the disruption, Toyota remains market leader by a comfortable margin, with consistent strength across the board.

Our two biggest contributors are Corolla and Hilux who look like they will again take the top two best selling slots in the New Zealand market for the fourth consecutive year."

Mr Davis says that combined they are still less than 50 per cent of Toyota New Zealand's annual sales, and he claims that Toyota still holds 25 per cent of all the top 20 models in New Zealand.