Toyota continues GCC dominance, shutting down Australian factory
Toyota Middle East recently announced a solid 10% growth in 2013 sales at a press conference in Dubai, at the same time there is unrelated news that they’re shutting down their Australian production operation.
Toyota sold 691,631 cars in the Middle East and Levant during 2013, including 37,000 Lexus vehicles. Out of that, the GCC alone accounted for 633,037. To put that in context, that adds up to a market-share of almost 40%, considering total 2013 vehicle sales in the GCC is reportedly 1.62 million, all brands put together.
So if you thought Nissan or Hyundai, let alone Ford or Chevrolet, were making inroads in our market, think again. Toyota’s market domination will continue for the near future. The top seller is, oddly enough, the Hilux pickup, accounting for 37% of all Toyota sales, followed by the Corolla, Prado, Land Cruiser, Camry, Yaris and others. To put some of these into perspective, they sold 106,000 units of the old and new Toyota Corollas, 67,000 of the pricey Land Cruiser, and only 878 of the much-hyped Toyota 86.
In other news, Toyota is shutting down their Australian factory due to high costs there, following the lead of GM-Holden and Ford. Production will end there before 2018, which means the end of GCC-spec Toyota Camry and Aurion imports from Australia. It is likely that U.S. factories will pick up the slack to supply our market in the future. This news comes just as Toyota is celebrating the sale of 1 million Camry units in the GCC since 1992, when it was introduced here. We still remember that time, when it replaced the much-vaunted Toyota Cressida.