Toyota South Africa Motors says it expects the premium market to be “hit the hardest” by COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to journalists during a virtual roundtable attended by CARmag.co.za, Leon Theron, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at Toyota SA, suggested many local customers would be forced to buy down into more affordable vehicles.
“We really don’t know what is going to happen in the market. But what we do foresee happening is that the premium market will probably be hit the hardest, which will probably force customers to buy into your lower-end vehicles,” Theron said.
While Theron suggested it was too early to predict what sort of impact the pandemic would have on Toyota SA’s annual sales figures, he said the company was still targeting a “respectable number”.
“Of course, our sales numbers for the year will drop; we have no doubt about that. But, as we’ve said to Toyota Japan, from a Toyota South Africa point of view, our dealers are resilient, we are resilient, and … we would still like to sell a very respectable number.”
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.