Toyota centres across the UK are welcoming customers back to their showrooms. The return to in-person trading promises to maintain the strong sales performance the brand has enjoyed during the first three months of 2021, despite the restrictions imposed due to the Covid pandemic.
The first quarter of the year saw Toyota record 28,046 sales of new passenger cars and LCVs, giving it 5.36 per cent of the UK market – a larger share than the record full-year figure of 5.2 per cent achieved in 2020. In retail sales, the share rose to six per cent in Q1, giving Toyota fifth place in the manufacturer rankings.
The results confirm the success of the Toyota Reserve and Relax programme that has given customers access to all the information, support and services they need to select, specify and purchase a new car. The online system has provided video consultations with sales representatives and allowed customers to secure a vehicle with a refundable reservation fee prior to setting up a Covid-secure test drive and “no-touch” vehicle hand-over once showrooms re-opened.
Reserve and Relax continues to be available for any customers who might still prefer to use the service rather than make an appointment to visit their local retailer in person. Anyone looking to visit a Toyota centre can be assured that all necessary social distancing and hygiene precautions will be in place to safeguard the health and safety of both visitors and the centre teams.
Mark Roden, Toyota (GB) Operations Director, said: “With no showrooms open throughout the first quarter of this year – including for the critical March registration plate change – it was thanks to an agile and innovative approach to business that our retail network was able to achieve such excellent results. Their ‘open for business’ mindset helped inspire customers and give them the confidence to make use of the Reserve and Relax service, as well phone and video call options. Our thanks go to everyone for the commitment and determination they have shown throughout the lockdown period, they have helped build a great sales platform and advance order book for the rest of the year.”
Key Q1 performers for Toyota include the Aygo city car and Hilux pick-up, both of which accounted for one in every four sales in their segment (Hilux’s performance supported by its new, more powerful 2.8-litre engine and new-look styling). The British-built Corolla Hybrid reached an almost 14 per cent share of the C-segment market, while the new Yaris claimed 11 per cent of B-segment car sales. The appeal of Toyota hybrids with customers seeking alternative fuel vehicles continues to grow and the first three months of the year they accounted for 80 per cent of the brand’s passenger car sales mix.