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by Tim Beissmann

Toyota Australia says its new car inventory and delivery will not return to normal until August.

Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner, said there was limited stock available in May as a result of global production disruptions stemming from the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan on March 12.

Mr Buttner explained the number of vehicles arriving in Australia in June would be almost double the amount that arrived in May.

He insisted priority would be given to customers who have already placed orders for new vehicles and have been waiting the longest to take delivery.

“We regard the respectful treatment of our customers and potential customers as a far more important measure of success than a single month’s sales,” Mr Buttner said.

Toyota Australia slipped to second in the sales in May (behind Holden), ending a streak of 73 months at the top of the charts. The 11,044 May sales result was Toyota’s leanest month since January 2002.

Mr Buttner said Toyota’s local inventory was likely to normalise after next month.

“In July we will receive almost the full quota of cars we ordered well before Japan’s natural disasters occurred.

“For the rest of the year, our business will basically be back to normal, thanks to a faster-than-expected pick-up in production.”

Despite the sales hit in May, Toyota will not lose its ranking as the top selling manufacturer in Australia in 2011. So far this year, Toyota has delivered 72,614 new vehicles, 22,871 units clear of Holden, which currently sits in second place.

The Camry, HiLux 4×2, HiLux 4×4, LandCruiser 200 Series and HiAce still led their individual segments in May, emphasising their dominance in their respective categories.

2011 Toyota Australia sales:

January – 14,817

February – 14,604

March – 18,466

April – 13,683

May – 11,044




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