03 Jan 2013
By Wright Communications
2012 was the 25th year in a row that Toyota has topped the new car sales charts in New Zealand. The company's time on top dates back to when The Cosby Show was this country's top rated TV show, CDs outsold vinyl records for the first time and Rick Astley (Never Gonna Give You Up) and George Michael (Faith) had chart-topping singles.
Toyota New Zealand CEO Alistair Davis says while The Cosby Show and Rick Astley may have long since faded from the nation's consciousness, New Zealanders' faith in Toyota has stood the test of time and the company has that to thank for its prolonged success.
"Kiwis' belief in Toyota is obviously a powerful force. It's clear to us that when Kiwis find something they love they stick with it," he says. "We are humbled by the loyalty and trust the New Zealand public has put in our vehicles during the past quarter of a century.
We want to say a big thank you to all Toyota lovers who have helped make us New Zealand's best selling car company for the past 25 years. Without the support of our loyal customers we wouldn't be where we are."
Mr Davis says Toyota NZ has sold more than 430,800 new vehicles over the past 25 years. More than 22,000 new vehicles sold in 2012 compared to just over 16,000 sold 25 years ago.
"Plenty has changed over the past 25 years. We now have more than 100 model variants in our new vehicle range, compared to around 60 in 1988. One massive change has been the rise of the SUV market. Twenty-five years ago our sales were dominated by sedans, hatchbacks and wagons and we sold just 48 SUVs. In 2012 we sold more than 4,000."
Mr Davis says the introduction of hybrids is another feature of Toyota's last 25 years with almost 5,000 new hybrids (including Lexus) sold in New Zealand.
Toyota New Zealand's top selling model over the past 25 has been the omnipresent Corolla, with Hilux, Camry and Hiace its other mainstays.
Kiwis' love affair with Toyota has led to the company being part of many significant milestones at both a community and national level over the past quarter century.
"From the community groups we work with to all of New Zealand's America's Cup challenges, Kiwis have embraced Toyota's involvement, which is special for us," Mr Davis says.
He says one thing that hasn't changed over the past 25 years is Toyota's goal of helping to fulfill its customers' ambitions.
"That won't change for the next 25 years either. We can't take the loyalty of our customers for granted so for us it is all about the Japanese idea of Kaizen, or continuous improvement, focused on meeting the needs of all New Zealanders."
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