Toyota Sales Slump Persists: New-Car Market Hits Year’s Weakest Month

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Australia’s motor vehicle industry experienced a slight recovery in April following a dip in March caused by shipping bottlenecks due to a spike in biosecurity breaches. However, the industry still needs to improve with unprecedented delivery delays and uncertain arrival times for new-car buyers.

According to new-car sales data published on May 3 by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), April 2023 recorded the weakest monthly result so far this year, with 82,137 new vehicles reported as sold.

While there was a 1.3% increase compared to the same month last year, this year’s April sales figure of 82,137 falls short by 11% compared to the record high of 92,347 set in 2021.

In a recent interview, Sean Hanley, the head of sales and marketing for Toyota Australia, stated that Toyota’s production is expected to increase from May to December.

“One of the things that we have been able to facilitate now is we are looking at those long wait times on a customer-by-customer basis, and we’re trying to prioritise where we can get a (vehicle) match, to get those cars, particularly to customers who have been waiting longer than 12 months,” Hanley said.

“Does that mean (customers) will get their cars tomorrow? No. But we are now working with our dealer network … to prioritise customers who have been waiting for the longest, if and when cars become available.”

Toyota Australia experienced a significant drop in sales, with 12,029 new cars sold in April 2023, marking a 33% decline compared to the same month in the previous year. Except for COVID lockdowns and the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and 2009, this is the second consecutive month Toyota has experienced a significant decline.

With the anticipated increase in production, Toyota expects to meet the demand and recover from the current downturn in sales figures.

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