Toyota discusses electrification and market trends

Toyota reveals six new models and 2022 sales forecast

Reuben Van Niekerk
Toyota South Africa Motors

President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) Andrew Kirby delivered his fifth State of the Motor Industry address recently.  The event, which has become a permanent feature on the local automotive calendar, discussed a number of pertinent topics in the industry including future mobility, market trends and motorsport announcements.


Guest speaker, Chief Scientist of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and CEO of Toyota Research Institute Dr Gill Pratt mapped out the company’s global plans with regards to electrification and reduction of carbon emissions as well as autonomous driving.


“We believe in battery electric vehicles and we’re investing in them, but we also believe that the way to reduce more carbon emissions sooner is to employ diverse solutions. This is particularly important for mitigating climate change because CO2 emissions accumulate globally and remain in the atmosphere for a long time: we need to reduce CO2 as much as possible as soon as possible, says Dr Pratt.


Pratt outlined that Toyota’s strategy towards the reduction of carbon emissions was premised on decarbonising as much as possible as quickly as possible, enable everyone to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible and maximise carbon return on investment.


Kirby concurred with Pratt that a diverse approach or diversity of drivetrains is what is needed by the industry in the fight against carbon dioxide. He says that government incentives were needed in SA to encourage the adoption of new energy vehicles as well as making the cost attractive to the market.


He added that the local market is not yet conducive for the full adoption of BEVs, citing infrastructural shortcomings related to energy generation as well as high import duties.


Vehicle sales set to recover

According to Kirby, total vehicle sales for 2022 will continue the post-lockdown recovery and should total 540 000 for the year. This figure comprises 334 800 passenger models, 178 198 light commercial vehicles and well as a total of 27 002 medium and heavy vehicles.


The extrapolation is based on a variety of socio-economic factors that do not bode well for the local motor industry, including the rising interest rate cycle, the strain taken by the agricultural cycle due to heavy rainfall, the muted tourism recovery as well as the possible market instability owing to ANC leadership elections and NBF wage negotiations,” says Kirby.


Kirby concluded that his forecast was constrained and that the industry could even sell more vehicles if the economy performed better than expected or if the issues in the automotive supply chain were to be resolved.


New model announcements

During the event a number of new vehicles were revealed, including the Lexus LX, NX, LS 500 Hybrid as well as Toyota Hilux GR-S, Corolla Cross GR and RAV4 VX Hybrid, all of which will be launched during the course of 2022.