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Toyota extends lead in 2014 – maintains No.1

Toyota has thrived amid a buoyant year for the New Zealand car market, maintaining its position as the number one new vehicle manufacturer and increasing its market share.

As New Zealand’s new car market increased an estimated 13 per cent during the previous year, Toyota increased its sales to 25,247 (across both passenger and commercial vehicles) – meaning one in five new cars sold in 2014 was a Toyota.

It is the 27th consecutive year in which Toyota has been the highest selling vehicle brand in New Zealand, and again this year five of the ten top-selling vehicle models were Toyotas.

Steve Prangnell, General Manager Sales, Toyota New Zealand said the brand was clearly more in sync with Kiwis than ever before.

“Toyota has worked hard for half a century to ensure it understands Kiwis and their values,” said Mr Prangnell.

“As a result, we have developed a product offering that aligns with Kiwis’ wants and needs, which is evidenced by the incredible faith that New Zealand has shown in Toyota for the last 27 years.”

Corolla remains New Zealand’s favourite car – with 6479 new Corollas being purchased by Kiwis in the last 12 months.

Corolla’s success in the overall sales race is further emphasised by its dominance in the small car sector – finishing close to 3500 ahead of its nearest competitor in the sector with more sales than second, third and fourth place combined.

“Corolla really is the unsung hero of New Zealand motoring,” Mr Prangnell said. “Private buyers and business alike make this our most sought-after model. Even used Corollas remain in hot demand, with strong re-sale and reliable product making Corolla a win-win option.”

The other passenger vehicle stand-out for Toyota in 2014 was RAV4, which was the most popular small SUV in the market.

With 2,567 sales for the year, RAV4 was the sixth best-selling vehicle overall for 2014; the fourth generation of the original compact SUV clearly proving a hit with Kiwis in its first full year on sale.

“RAV4 is another one of Toyota’s iconic nameplates – it was the vehicle that invented the compact SUV category, and continues to define it.

“It’s a little bigger, and is more refined than the first RAV4, but the price has remained affordable for New Zealanders.

“Last year (2013) we were able to re-align our RAV4 pricing, making it considerably more affordable. At the same time, we have continued to up-spec and offer higher value packages. The evolution of the model is clearly in keeping with what Kiwis are looking for.”

New Zealand’s favourite 4WD ute continues to be the Hilux, with 4306 new vehicles delivered in 2014 – a number that saw Hilux also take the honour of being the number one 4WD; passenger or commercial.

Elsewhere, the Camry scored a win in the medium car segment, while the Yaris, boosted by the launch of a new model, climbed to a close second in the light car segment – Yaris was also the ninth highest selling vehicle in the New Zealand market for 2014.

“The last year has been significant; we’ve reached our sales targets and we’ve returned to 20 per cent market share which was a goal of ours,” said Mr Prangnell.

“However, even more important are our efforts in supporting and helping Kiwis – whether through our continued involvement with grassroots rugby, NZ’s biggest fishing programme the ITM Fishing Show, Emirates Team New Zealand, or the work we do for the future of New Zealand through the Weet-bix Kids TRYathlon and The Parenting Place.

“We will expand our partnership programme in 2015, to include TVNZ’s Our First Home, and the Hilux Rural Games being held in Queenstown on the Waitangi Day long weekend.

“Of course, our commitment to hybrid technology and its continuing development over nearly two decades is closely aligned with the affinity Kiwis have for nature and the beautiful natural environment we are blessed to have here in New Zealand.”

Note: All figures based on preliminary data.