‘2008 has been challenging as we prepare for a new product offensive and face tougher external pressures,’ said Tadashi Arashima, President and Chief Executive Officer of TME. ‘We are confident of entering a new phase of growth in-line with the introduction of 18 models, including two hybrids, to Europe. Each model will bring improved fuel efficiency, helping to expand our low CO2 sales mix.’
The Toyota brand reported January to June sales of 592,496 vehicles, down 6% from the same period in 2007. Sales highlights included Prius, which posted sales of 21,846 vehicles, up 33% from the same period last year, to set a first half sales record. It has been a year of milestones for Prius: cumulative European sales exceeded 100,000 vehicles, and the hybrid model topped J.D. Power & Associates’ Customer Satisfaction Index Studies in Germany, France and the UK for the second consecutive year.
Other first half performers included Corolla (55,590 vehicles sold; +23%) and AYGO (55,569 vehicles sold; +2%) – also voted number one in its segment in the 2008 J.D. Power & Associates’ Customer Satisfaction Index Studies in Germany and the UK. Yaris remains Toyota’s best selling vehicle in Europe, with 134,802 vehicles sold – a decrease of 7% from January to June 2007 – while maintaining segment share.
The Lexus brand reported January to June sales of 24,859 vehicles – down 14% compared with the same period last year. Despite this result, Lexus Hybrid Drive technology continued to perform above expectation with hybrid vehicles accounting for 35% of total Lexus sales in the first half of 2008.
From January to June 2008, Russia was TME’s largest national market with 95,987 vehicles sold, up 22% from the same period in 2007. Russia was followed by the UK (72,315 vehicles sold; -8%); Italy (63,294 vehicles sold; -18%); and France (56,373 vehicles sold; +1%), where it set a first half sales record. First half sales records were also achieved in Ukraine (10,654 vehicles sold; + 92%) and the Balkans (8,799 vehicles sold; +18%).