Hilux tops Toyota Nigeria’s sales by 70%


•Targets 24% local market share in 2017
Toyota Hilux, a series of light commercial vehicles has recorded the highest number of sales contributing about 70 per cent of the 1,900 units of vehicles sold by Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL).

With about 22 per cent market share garnered already in the third quarter, Toyota hopes to bring it up to 24 per cent of the total brand new car sales in the country at the end of this business year.

Briefing journalist at the company’s quarterly review in Lagos, the Managing Director, TNL, Kunle Ade-Ojo, said as at the end of the third quarter (Q3), the vehicle sold 7,000 units compared to about 14,500 last year, which is a drop of about 48 per cent in sales.

He said: “This year, if you look at the sales ratio of vehicles, most sales were more of commercial vehicles. In 2018, we hope to see a bit of balancing with the recovery of passenger vehicles. This year, a lot of companies were very careful because of the economic recession. They buy vehicles that will help improve productivity of their business.

“As at the end of third quarter, our market share was about 22 per cent of the brand new vehicles sales, but we are hoping to bring it to about 24 per cent at the end of the year. We are however, forecasting that it would end at about 9,000 units of vehicles in the country.”

He identified the Hilux as the number one selling model for Toyota, which contributes about 60 to 70 per cent of the sales, adding that it sold about 1,200 out of 1,900 unit made by TNL.

Other models identified as top sellers after the Hilux are the Toyota Hiace and Avensis.

Ade-Ojo however, noted that in the past, transporters used to be vibrant when it comes to purchase of Hiace, but seem to have changed to longer buses recently due to economic recession and the cost of acquiring the Hiace buses.

He also noted that “We are beginning to see changes but we hope it comes next year. We are beginning to see improvements in the purchases of Hiace buses and we hope it will be better next year.”

Going forward, Ade-Ojo emphasised that after-sales services is an area Toyota Nigeria is going to focus on, adding that they will work with transporters on how to manage, and refurbish their fleet so that the vehicles can last longer.

On competition, he said TNL is not perturbed, adding: “In terms of competition, we are still ahead because our competitors are majorly Chinese. In the pickup and bus segment, we still have the leadership as much as market is concerned.”

On Toyota Coaster buses, he said: “The Coaster bus has been officially introduced into the market. We have been selling it and it has been well received, and it is the leader of 30-seater buses in the market.”

Predicting a better business operation in the upcoming year, he said: “We are forecasting that the auto market will grow five per cent. I say this because of the easing that we are beginning to see. If you look at the ratio sales of vehicles; most sales were more of commercial vehicles. In 2018, we hope to see a bit of balancing with the recovery of passenger vehicles.

“This year, a lot of companies were very careful because of the economic recession. They buy vehicles that would help improve productivity of their businesses. As the economy improves, so will there be balancing of sales across the models and vehicle segments.

“A more realistic growth next year will be experienced next year. However, there are risks. As 2018 budget is signed into law, we might begin to see some marginal activities in businesses. We are doing that there will be an improvement generally,” Ade-Ojo said.

He acknowledged that everybody is affected by the grey market due to the economic situation, but noted that in the case of Toyota, the impacts have been minimised since all products bought from Toyota have the right duties.

While commending the efforts of the Nigerian Customs to check activities of grey marketers that bring vehicles in illegally, Ade-Ojo pointed out that some companies who have paid their duties diligently are sometimes unduly confronted by the Customs.



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