Toyota New Zealand is celebrating 31 years as the dominant car brand in New Zealand's automotive market despite a major business shift at the beginning of 2018.
In 2018 the company's Toyota stores retailed 33,045 new vehicles for a 20.4 percent share of the market, surpassing the 32,278 new vehicles sold in 2017.
"Offering a full range of exciting models, and spearheaded by the next generation of Camry and Corolla, has helped us maintain our market leadership," says Neeraj Lala, Toyota New Zealand's General Manager of New Vehicle Sales.
"We are starting to experience waiting lists for Corolla and Camry hybrids as customers start to recognise the efficiency and flexibility that hybrids provide."
The facelifts to key models Corolla, Camry and Hilux has helped Toyota New Zealand beat 2017's total sales record in 2018.
"It's a fantastic result given the significant changes we made with our driveaway pricing from our Toyota stores on 1st April," says Neeraj Lala.
"Our customers have really enjoyed the new customer experience with 'no haggle' and the ability to return their vehicle if they are not 100% happy."
A total of 1,873 self-charging hybrid electric vehicles have been sold in the last 12 months, with the Corolla and Camry being the most popular with 819 and 505 sales respectively.
Mr Lala says Toyota has continued to lead SUV sales with a wide range of models from the compact C-HR through the RAV4, Highlander, Fortuner, Land Cruiser Prado to the Land Cruiser 200.
The increase of Toyota's SUV sales, namely C-HR and RAV4 aided the 2018 sales record. Alongside this, the introduction of Prius Prime saw an increase of 109% in the Prius family in 2018.
During 2018 Toyota launched or updated five models, including the Camry, Corolla, C-HR, Hilux SR5 Cruiser, and its first new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, Prius Prime.
The combination of a wide range of cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles that meets the needs of all buyers and the continued reputation for rugged reliability from its commercial vehicles and 4WDs in particular has enabled Toyota to retain market leadership.
Mr. Lala says Toyota will remain the sales leader in 2019. "In 2019, together with our new customer experience, we will introduce unprecedented new model activity."
"We will launch more new platforms, more hybrid, and more performance but most importantly satisfy more happy customers!"