…As New Vehicle Sales Drop by 48%
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]oyota Nigeria Limited (TNL) plans to increase its share of total new vehicle sales in Nigeria to about 24% by the end of 2017.The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo, dropped the hint during its quarterly press briefing held at TNL’s Lekki-Lagos head office on Thursday 29th November 2016.
According to him, although at the end of the third quarter of the year, the entire Nigerian auto market sold about 7000 vehicles out of which Toyota did about 1900, the economic factors militating against vehicle imports and sales in the country are changing.
He explained:“Remember we told you that we had to prioritize in the midst of limited funds and put our efforts on the fastest moving vehicles as much as possible. But that is a little bit changing as we get into the last quarter of the year. We now have passenger vehicles available. That is why I said we should be able to grow our market share to end with about 24%.
“The total vehicle sales as at Q3 was estimated to be about 7000 units compared to about 14,500 last year (2016), which is a drop of 48% in sales. Out of this, Toyota did about 1900, translating to about 22%.”
Ade-Ojo singled out Hilux as his company’s top-selling model during the period under review, followed by Hiace and Avensis, a result he attributed to shortage of passenger vehicles as a result of the company’s prioritization policy.
He stated: “The number one selling model for us at Toyota this year has been Hilux, which contributes about 60 -70 per cent. We’ve done about 1200 of Hilux out of about 1900 sales.”
Reiterating his earlier forecast of between 8000 and 10000 total new vehicle sales during the year, Mr. Ade-Ojo specifically forecasted that the market would do about 9000 in 2017, 24% of which, he reckons, will be Toyota, which in figure term, translates to about 2160.
Ade-Ojo also hinged the drop in sales of Hiace bus below that of Hilux on high cost of acquiring vehicles in the country, as a result of which fleet owners resort to maintaining their existing vehicles rather than acquiring new ones.
“Transporters,” he explained, “who in the past, used to be quite vibrant, when it comes to purchase of the Hiace for their transport business are beginning to use their vehicles for much longer and rather invest more in after-sales service.
“However, we are beginning to see changes, most of which will come up next year. As we move towards the end of the year, we are beginning to see improvements on the purchases of Hiace. And we are forecasting that between now and Q1 of next year, the product will be much more available.”
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