document : Toyota Sa Moves Into Top Position as Vehicle Exporter

Toyota Sa Moves Into Top Position as Vehicle Exporter
information supplied by: Toyota South Africa Product 23 January 2007

Toyota South Africa has taken over the position as the leader among the country’s built-up vehicle exporters after more than a decade of trailing the German companies – Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Toyota was the leading exporter of built-up vehicles from South Africa in the early 1990’s when these markets were restricted to countries on the African continent. But this all changed when VW got its first contract to export Jettas to China. Toyota lost further ground as an exporter when the South African-based German companies, now including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as well as Volkswagen, the high volume export pioneer, secured substantial contracts to export to Europe, the United States, Japan, Australia and a host of other markets.

It was only when Toyota Motor Corporation, of Japan, took a 75% controlling interest in Toyota South Africa in 2002 that meaningful export contracts became available to the local company. Initially it was a fairly low volume operation sending Corollas to Australia. But then it all came together in 2005 with South Africa being designated as a global supplier base for Toyota’s Innovative International Multipurpose Vehicle (IMV) project that spawned a number of variants, including the new Hilux and its SUV stablemate, the Fortuner.

Toyota SA now sends a wide range of single- and double-cab Hiluxes to many European and African destinations as well as exporting a limited number of Fortuners to African countries (this model is not sold in Europe).

Toyota South Africa returned to the top of the South African exporter list again in September 2006, when it shipped 4 779 units from Durban, to bring its nine-month total to 31 286 units or 24,1% of the export market. This compared to a year-to-date figure of 28 976 units for last year’s early export leader, BMW. Volkswagen was in third place on 25 912 units, with Mercedes-Benz fourth (18 635 units), while Ford, another late starter in terms of volume exports, filled fifth position (16 765 units).

At the end of last year Toyota had stretched its lead considerably, finishing with
49 142 units, which was almost two and a half times the number of vehicle exported in 2005, when 20 660 units were shipped. This equated to 27,3% of the record 179 859 vehicles exported by South African manufacturers during 2006. Toyota SA plans to increase its exports to the region of 100 000 units a year within the next three years.

BMW was in second place in 2006, wit h 38 207 vehicles exported (21,2% share), while Volkswagen was third, on 36 071 units, and Ford fourth on 20 479.

Toyota South Africa’s exports are currently split almost equally between African countries and the rest of the world. The company’s sales outside Africa amounted to 24 664 units compared to 24 478 vehicles shipped into Africa. The main African destination for South African-built Hiluxes is Algeria, with 11 985 units exported to that country last year.

Toyota SA accounted for 71,5% of the vehicles shipped from South Africa into other African countries in 2006. Next best was Nissan at 17,7%, compared to 35,6% a year earlier, when Toyota had already overtaken the Rosslyn-based company as the leading local exporter into Africa.

Export leader
January 2007

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