Toyota Australia optimistic despite tough new car market

Toyota Australia vice-president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley has told CarsGuide that despite the current decline in local new car sales, the mood inside the company and its dealer network “is one of great optimism”.

Toyota leads the market with a whopping 19.2 per cent share (YTD July), close to double that of its nearest competitor, Mazda on 10.0 per cent.

Overall new car volume is down 7.7 per cent so far this year compared to 2018, with some high profile volume brands suffering significant sales slumps including Holden (-24.0%), Honda (-14.7%), Nissan (-14.2%), and VW (-10.9%).

Despite a 4.8 per cent softening in Toyota sales, Mr Hanley said: “We don’t necessarily subscribe to the pessimistic view of a declining ‘terrible’ market.

“Of course, we have a challenging market now and in the foreseeable future, but the market won’t collapse,” he said. “There’s still a lot of people buying cars.

“We approach these things very optimistically, and so do our dealers. We know there are challenges in front of us. Much disruption in our industry is expected. We need to adapt, change, and we need to move quickly.

“And our dealer network, in partnership with us, will secure that future; I have no doubt.

“Plus, the support we get from our parent company, and the support it’s giving this market is unparalleled.”

Mr Hanley also sees Toyota’s growing portfolio of hybrid models as a distinct market advantage, adding: “Hybrid reduces CO2, you don’t have to charge it, you don’t have to plug it in, you don’t have to have a special energy infrastructure to support it.

“And we make the technology available at an affordable price,” he said.