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New vehicle sales from market leader Toyota continued to exceed expectations in November with 2,402 passenger and light commercial units sold.
Sales to private buyers and fleet operators were up 21 percent compared to November 2019, excluding rental market sales which were significantly reduced due to the impact of COVID-19 on international tourism.
Toyota New Zealand Chief Executive Neeraj Lala, says that new vehicle sales in November have been beyond expectations and can be attributed to several factors, including the high demand for newly introduced models across the Toyota range.
“We have launched a number of fantastic new models such as the Yaris Hatch, Yaris Cross and the new Hilux during a period when customers are upgrading vehicles and business confidence is returning,” Mr Lala says.
With exceptionally frugal fuel efficiency, low carbon emissions and comprehensive safety systems, the new Yaris petrol and hybrid range is capturing the attention of urban buyers, with 165 deliveries of the new Yaris Cross in its first month of availability.
At the other end of the spectrum, the 2021 Hilux is also performing exceptionally well for Toyota with 1,059 orders for the revamped ute in November.
“It is exciting to see our new vehicles take off so quickly,” Mr Lala says. “Toyota has made a real effort over the past few years to inject fun and style back into the range which is resonating with our customers.
“On the other hand, there is also a strong demand for low carbon-emitting vehicles, and we are committed to offering a hybrid variant in every Toyota model range where we can.”
A hybrid power train is now available in the Yaris, Corolla, Camry, RAV4, C-HR and Prius. In 2021, a hybrid Highlander will be offered in New Zealand for the first time.
Hybrid sales are now outselling petrol-only cars and SUVs right across the Toyota range. In the year to the end of November, hybrids accounted for 59 percent of Toyota passenger cars sold. SUV hybrid sales were virtually the same ratio, accounting for 59 percent of Toyota SUVs.
“If there is a challenge with hybrid sales it is securing supply for New Zealand, as there is a global demand for hybrid cars and SUVs, despite the economic impact of the COVID pandemic,” Mr Lala says.
The experience of Toyota over the past four years demonstrates how new car buyers are positively responding to hybrids. Sales of hybrid variants were just six percent of the total Toyota passenger car sales in 2017. In 2018, it was marginally up to eight percent.
With Toyota SUVs, the growth trajectory is even more pronounced with zero sales in 2017, and 4,576 or 59 percent in 2020. The new RAV4 continues to sell well, with 511 units delivered in November.