TOYOTA SOMI 2024
The state of the motor industry (SOMI) in South Africa was spotlighted at the annual media get-together, held at Kyalami and hosted by Toyota South African Motors (TSAM). Company CEO Andrew Kirby explained the market’s situation, noting a very slow year-end in 2023 and challenges in parts availability due to South Africa’s port problems. Despite this, TSAM’s production hub based in Durban has produced over 142 000 new vehicles. He also emphasised that the future Toyota model range will continue to advance, featuring many new drivetrain derivatives. These will range from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) petrol and diesel power to hybrid, Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), and full electric options.
Most importantly, they have expanded their market share in the eight diverse market segments locally. This ranges from taxis and heavy-duty Hino trucks to the bus market, offering a glimpse of their operation’s success. Each month, approximately 6 000 export vehicles sail out from Durban harbour. Additionally, the introduction of new operations like “Kinto” – an all-in-one vehicle package that includes comprehensive car insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance – has been well received. Dealers across both Toyota and Lexus brands have embraced it, providing vehicle owners with increased peace-of-mind and flexibility in how they purchase their vehicles.
Leon Theron notes that owners now enjoy a range of options when selecting the vehicle of their choice. This has resulted in Toyota’s total market share rising to 26.8% covering everything from entry-level vehicles to the Lexus premium brands. Notable the Hilux has continued to be the country’s top selling LCV bakkie, commanding a dominant 25% of the local sales market.
Toyota’s continuing policy of being a competitor in the various market trade sport segment has also had a very positive outcome for Hi-Ace, Land Cruiser and Quantum bus models last year.
TSAM have boosted a new line of defence programmes to overcome the disastrous flooding experienced two years ago in the Umlazi area in Durban. The company have introduced a raft of changes with improved road construction reinstatements in city infrastructure with a strong development between TSAM and local government in KZN, to combat rising water levels with factory production to decrease water flooding. This has been at a cost of some R743 million in further projects for 2024.
Kirby went on to show the huge range of next battery generation vehicles with improved overall costs and battery charging speeds. This was followed by a reveal of a whole new range of off-road and passenger cars due for release to the local market in the new year.
To round out the event the entire Toyota Gazoo Dakar team entered stage left to cover every detail of the Dakar Hilux success for 2024. They answered all types of questions from the floor on the worlds’ most arduous off-road race in the desert, along with a secret peek at the lookalike Hilux GR-51111 – which will launch at local dealerships in March. The Toyota road show looks set for yet another solid year of performance in South Africa.
Story By: Ian Groat