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2018 was a record year for Toyota in New Zealand. All-time sales records in new vehicles, used vehicles (Signature Class), parts, service, Toyota Care (warranties and service plans) and close to record achievements in sales of finance and insurance.
I was particularly pleased to see our sales of new self-charging and plug-in electric hybrids topped 2,000 for the first time, and on top of that we imported and sold almost 700 used hybrids as well.
2018 also marked the 31st consecutive year Toyota has been the number one brand in New Zealand. Thank you to all our customers for your continued patronage, especially as we introduced a new way of buying cars (the Drive Happy project) in April 2018. Initial reports have been very positive and you will read in this edition of Believe magazine that we are continuing to improve the way we get feedback from customers to further develop our products and services.
You will also read about some of the exciting products that Toyota is launching this year – a new RAV4 (the best selling SUV in New Zealand, and the world!), a new Hiace (the go-to van for couriers or anyone wanting to move small goods) and Supra (the latest iteration of an icon). And we also describe some of the future technologies coming to the automobile with an inside look at CES (the consumer electronics show). Sir Stephen Tindall also shares his thoughts on the benefits Auckland will enjoy with the next America’s Cup just two years away.
The date of March 15 2019 is now seared into New Zealand’s identity in much the same way as 9/11 is seared into American consciousness. Since the Christchurch massacre there have been thousands of words written, hundreds of commemorations and vigils around the country and some strong leadership shown by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. In just three words she beautifully captured why this xenophobic attack was an attack on all New Zealand: “they are us.” the process of healing and coming to terms with our new reality will take some time; it may be years before we fully understand the changes New Zealand will take to counter these kinds of threats.
In the meantime, we are all called by Jacinda to show kindness and compassion to those around us. I am reminded of a Washington monument I visited a couple of years ago. It was a massive sculpture of the civil rights campaigner, Martin Luther King.
Behind the sculpture was a wall etched with a number of quotations from his speeches and sermons.
This one stood out:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Appropriate words for us all to remember at this time.