Embargo: 12 noon, Thursday 5 January 2006
Toyota has set a new motor industry all-time annual sales record to become the country’s number one motor vehicle company in 2005.
It is the tenth time Toyota has been market leader.
Sales figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) today reveal Toyota delivered 202,817 vehicles in 2005, breaking the industry sales record it set the previous year.
Toyota claimed number one position in seven of the 13 sales segments in which it competes.
The company’s Yaris/Echo, Corolla and Camry were each top sellers in their passenger motor vehicle segments, along with LandCruiser Wagon in the SUV category.
Toyota’s HiAce buses and vans and the company’s Hilux 4x4 pick-up were number one in their light commercial vehicle segments.
Toyota delivered a record 1423 of its eco-friendly Prius hybrid to bring total Toyota hybrid registrations in Australia to more than 3000.
In 2004 Toyota became the first company ever to sell more than 200,000 vehicles in a single year with a record delivery of 201,737.
According to Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing David Buttner the 2005 result was even more remarkable because of the way in which it was achieved.
“Huge demand for the company’s Corolla range has helped change the composition of the marketplace,” Mr Buttner said.
Toyota delivered an all-time record 46,415 Corollas, 18.9 per cent greater than its previous best.
In September Corolla became the number one-selling motor vehicle in Australia, eclipsing both Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon.
The success of Corolla as well as Yaris and Camry has enabled Toyota to close to within 2.1 percentage points of General Motors in total passenger vehicle sales - the closest margin ever.
The sale of small cars across all manufacturers in 2005 exceeded 200,000 for the first time, reaching 215,324 - an increase of 18.9 per cent.
The previous small car record had been 181,160 set in 2004.
Demand for large cars dropped by 15.7 per cent to 153,244.
However Toyota said the turnaround should not be considered permanent.
“There is compelling evidence that the large car market will stabilise and regain strength,” Mr Buttner said.
“In 2006 Toyota will launch its new Camry and a new Avalon replacement large six, and there is the likelihood of competitive reaction.
“The cars which participate in the large car market will be essentially different from those that have done so in the past.
“There is an ongoing need for larger, space-efficient vehicles to fulfil the needs of families and businesses.”
Toyota claimed sales leadership in 10 months in 2005 and set new sales records in seven.
Mr Buttner said the correction in market demand in the last three months of 2005 had not been reflected in sales of light and small vehicles.
While total vehicle sales had fallen 2.5 per cent beneath the previous year’s levels in the last three months, demand for small cars had risen 11.5 per cent and demand for light cars was up 7.1 per cent.
Toyota’s two segment-leading models, Corolla and Yaris, had performed well above the market.
Demand for Corolla in the last three months of the year increased 19.4 per cent.
“The market corrected in the last three months largely as a result of latent reaction to petrol pricing,” Mr Buttner said.
“A consumer trend which had been evident all year was magnified as reaction to petrol prices took hold.”
However Mr Buttner said consumer confidence had generally remained high, especially in the private market.
“Just as housing demand has not retreated universally across Australia or in specific areas, the motor vehicle market is equally remaining extremely strong in certain segments,” he said.
“Private buyers are increasingly choosing vehicles which specifically suit their needs - and the sales figures indicate these areas are largely in the small and light car segments and in the compact and medium SUV markets.
“The outlook for 2006 is one of sustained demand in those areas which have remained strong during the last few months.
“There is an expectation of recovery in markets which did diminish in response to new and different vehicle offerings.”
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