– By Victoria Nelson –
Last week was Groundhog Day with the annual VFACTS announcement confirming that Toyota had claimed the top spot for the 16th year in a row. And HiLux continued its run as the best selling car (51,705) in Australia thanks to its large number of model variants including 4X2 and 4X4 variants.
An extraordinary five Toyota vehicles established new sales records last year with HiLux joined by four SUVs – RAV4, LandCruiser Prado, Kluger and C-HR. Corolla topped the passenger-car sales charts for a sixth consecutive year and Camry celebrated its 25th straight year as the country’s best-selling mid-size car (although the category has been declining in popularity).
The string of popular models was instrumental in Toyota dealers increasing sales by 0.2 per cent to 217,061 vehicles, the fourth consecutive year of higher sales. It was the only brand with market share in double figures at 18.8 per cent, an improvement of 0.6 points.
Toyota made history with its SUV sales passing 80,000 deliveries and light-commercial vehicles (LCVs) eclipsing 70,000 vehicles – both milestones achieved for the first time by any brand. Eight Toyota vehicles led their individual segments – Corolla, Camry, LandCruiser Prado, LandCruiser wagon, HiLux 4×2, HiLux 4×4, HiAce van and HiAce bus.
Toyota Australia president Matthew Callachor said the company’s success was outstanding in its first year after the closure of local manufacturing.
“Our sales increase in 2018 and, indeed, over the past four years demonstrates the positive impact from our strengthened focus on guest satisfaction at all levels of our operation,” Mr Callachor said.
“We appreciate the loyalty of so many people in the Toyota family and we are confident we can continue to earn their on-going support through our continued investment in world-leading vehicles and guest-focused initiatives,” he said.
“This year will benefit from the arrival of the next-generation RAV4, the iconic Supra sports car and the stylish and dynamic Corolla sedan, among others. Importantly, both RAV4 and Corolla sedan will offer hybrid variants for the first time.”
During 2018, HiLux and the LandCruiser family (70, 200 and Prado) both reached cumulative sales of one million vehicles in Australia, joining Corolla which achieved the feat in 2007. RAV4 was Toyota’s most popular SUV with a gain of 5.2 per cent for an all-time high of 22,165 sales.
Also setting annual records, Prado delivered an upturn of 16.1 per cent to 18,553 sales, Kluger was up 17.9 per cent to 14,743 sales and C-HR grew 53.5 per cent to 9,716 sales.