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A quick glance at Toyota Australia’s sales results for the first half of 2023 would have you think the most popular brand in the country, and indeed the largest car company in the world, is on Struggle Street.
Or at least compared to where it was at the same time last year, with its 92,235 sales for the first half of 2023 well short of the 121,377 it boasted for H1 2022.
That’s still a 15.9 per cent share of the Australian market this year so far - even second-place Mazda has just 8.7 per cent - but last year almost a quarter (22.6 per cent) of new cars sold in Australia were Toyotas. So, what next?
The story the numbers don’t quite outline is that wait times for Toyotas are still long, and that the figures are representative of sales delivered, not orders taken.
“Demand for Toyota vehicles remains strong, and our order bank is very healthy,” a Toyota Australia spokesperson told CarsGuide.
“We continue to work closely with our global production teams and our local dealers to secure and deliver as many cars as possible, as quickly as possible to our Australian customers.”
And while it’s possible there are other effects on Toyota’s sales including increased competition from more readily available brands with lower pricing like MG and GWM Haval on the SUV front up against the likes of RAV4 or Corolla Cross, or LDV and GWM on the ute front facing off with HiLux, Toyota still remains comfortably ahead.
Even though other high-volume brands like Kia, Hyundai and Mazda have held off losses and managed to remain roughly level with last year unlike Toyota, the Japanese manufacturer has clawed back from where it started the year, and expects that trend to continue.
“In the second quarter of this year, our deliveries increased more than 25 per cent compared with the first quarter,” the spokesperson said.
“In the coming months, we are expecting further substantial increases in the production and delivery of vehicles for Australia. Importantly, this will help us reduce customer wait times.”
Toyota’s June sales in 2023 for example (20,948), were only down 7.1 per cent compared to June in 2022 (22,561), and if that trend continues, Toyota will likely reach its expected benchmark for the year - it just needs another 108,000 cars sold by the end of December.
“For the full year, we are expecting to deliver more than 200,000 vehicles for the 19th time in the past 20 years.”
Almost one third of Toyota’s sales in the first half of the year, 28,093 of its 92,235, are made up of its somewhat ageing but consistently popular HiLux ute, though other previously mass-volume models like the RAV4 and Kluger SUVs were slow to start the year, having since started to catch up.