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Another 'triple crown' year has seen Toyota top New Zealand's new vehicle market for the 24th year in a row, and put the company in the driving seat to reach a quarter century of leadership - a feat unprecedented since official sales data collection began.
NZTA data for 2011 shows Toyota led the passenger, commercial and overall sales charts - the 'triple crown' - with total sales of 18,042 vehicles.
Toyota's overall sales have taken it to number one every year since 1987.
The familiar names of Corolla and Hilux - plus top newcomer Yaris - all made the nation's top 10 vehicles in 2011, with Corolla's total sales of 4,149 narrowly taking out number one from Hilux.
Steve Prangnell, general manager Sales and Operations, says Toyota New Zealand's formula for ongoing leadership is no secret: "We offer customers good value on well-designed vehicles which perform in real-world conditions, backed up by professional, customer-oriented after-sales service."
It helps that Toyota has delivered some of the true icons of Kiwi motoring; Corolla, Hilux, Land Cruiser and Hiace have all won a place in New Zealanders' hearts in the past 24 years, transporting everything from families to farm dogs."
In 2011, Toyota captured 21.3 per cent of the overall market, nearly double the level of its nearest competitor. It's December market share of 37.3% is the highest recorded monthly result.
Toyota's passenger market share was 19.2 per cent (a 5,636 vehicle lead), and its commercial share was 27.8 per cent (nearly 3,000 vehicles ahead of the nearest rival). In addition, Toyota remained the top seller of diesel engine vehicles in New Zealand.
Mr Prangnell says the 60th anniversary of Land Cruiser, marked by Marc Ellis' hugely popular mid-year Top to Bottom journey from Cape Reinga to Bluff, and the successful launch of a re-modelled Hilux in October, were a timely reminder of Toyota's ongoing connection with New Zealand's heartland.
"Toyota does not take that customer loyalty for granted. We constantly look to improve our vehicles and customer service.
"Toyota's engineers visit New Zealand to see local conditions for themselves. That is one example of the importance Toyota places on ensuring we meet customers' needs and add value to them, and the kind of thinking which will help us lead the New Zealand market for 25 years and beyond."
"Japan's tragic earthquake and tsunami in March affected Toyota's production and our supply for several months. This, combined with the recent Thailand flood disaster, accounts for the slightly reduced market position in 2011," says Mr Prangnell.
But our strong stock management systems helped minimise the impact and Toyota is confident that with production firing on all cylinders, and some excellent vehicle releases in 2012, we will extend our leadership position once again."