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August 20, 2019

Who Is the Typical 2020 Toyota Hiace Super Grandia Buyer?

The running joke in automotive circles is that Toyota Motor Philippines’s making a killing with the Hiace Super Grandia and Alphard thanks to the insatiable demand driven mostly by “TDK” (Mainland Chinese) VIPs and POGO (Philippine Offshore Gambling Operation) businesses. But are these people really the ones lapping up Toyota vans as quickly as Toyota dealers could stock them?

Judge me if you want, but I don’t find the actual unveil to be the most fascinating part of a Toyota vehicle launch; and no, I don’t look forward to the giveaway or free food either. The most intriguing part for me is actually when they start presenting the market rationale. Whether it’s down to just curiosity or because of my marketing background (yes, I did once belong to the “other side”—where I had to regularly restrain media from stampeding to the buffet line), but I actually look forward to Toyota talking about market situation, buyer demographic, and so forth.

In 2015, the Commercial Vehicle or CV segment accounts for 61 percent of the total vehicle sold in the country. It has grown steadily since, peaking at 69 percent in 2018. And while the percentage jump isn’t as dramatic, once we take a look at the actual numbers, it’s actually astounding. From an average of 16,400 units per month sold in 2015, that number has risen to 27,700 units per month in 2018. As of mid-2019, that number already stands at 22,380 units.

Segmenting the CV segment, Utility Vans or UVs account for 12 percent—a steady number in the past four years. That said, it’s grown in volume from 2,100 average monthly sales in 2015 to 3,700 average monthly sales in 2018. Out of this, the Hiace is the undisputed leader, commanding a 55 percent (54.6 percent to be precise) share of the market. In the last two years, Toyota has, on the average, sold more Hiace per month than the second place Nissan Urvan and third place Hyundai Starex combined.

Toyota further segments the UV segment, categorizing the Hiace Super Grandia as part of the “High UV segment.” Using this as basis, the Hiace Super Grandia enjoys a 56.62 percent market share. It was momentarily threatened by the Hyundai Starex in 2017, when the Hiace Super Grandia’s share dropped to 39.3 percent, but since then, it has rebounded to 64 percent in 2018 and 70.3 percent thus far in 2019.

Now, this brings us to who buys the Hiace Super Grandia. While Toyota Motor Philippines admit that “luxury hotels, resorts, and casinos” will definitely be a target, they maintain that private individuals will remain the primary buyer. This “buyer” is predominately male (84 percent), aged 40-44 years old, and is married (85 percent). His monthly household income ranges from P 220,000 to P 240,000 which puts him in the “high income segment” or only 0.1 percent of total families in the country. And before you ask, no, not once did “St. Peter join the group.”

Considering the Toyota Hiace Super Grandia’s stature as the flagship of the sixth-generation Hiace line-up, Toyota Motor Philippines says they’re only expecting to sell 400 of these every month. Now, this may sound like a low number, but considering that the Super Grandia peaked at 276 units in 2018, growing the number by 45 percent sounds like a tall order—unless they see the market growing at a faster rate than it has in the past four years or they just plan to kill off everyone else.

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