Toyota: Strong demand from Tunisians

It is a brand that has managed to dominate global car sales in 2021 for the second year in a row. It also ranked third in percentage of local sales. It is the Japanese giant “Toyota”, which dominates the international and regional markets thanks to a variety of products and a continuous renewal of the “hybrid cars”.

The CEO of Toyota’s Tunisian branch, Moez Belkhiria, said in an interview with “African Manager” that the Japanese brand has managed to position itself in the market by ranking third in 2021 in sales in the local market thanks to the diversity of its products and their competitive prices. In fact, this brand remains one of the favorites of Tunisian customers, especially for its control of fuel consumption.

Hybrid cars have been demonstrated in Tunisia

Belkhiria explained that the “Toyota” brand has been demonstrated in the Tunisian market in terms of hybrid car sales, noting that there is a strong demand from Tunisians for this type of car, either the “Toyota RAV4” or the new “Toyota Cross.”

He also stressed that the Tunisian customer has adapted to this type of car which is distinguished by a rationalization of fuel consumption, in addition to the tax privileges which benefit from the Finance Act of 2022, which provided for a reduction of 50 % of the tax rate on consumption of vehicles equipped with dual thermal and electric motor (cars, commercial vehicles and twin cars) instead of 30%.

Hybrid cars have gained popularity in recent times as they have taken the lead in sales in many countries around the world thanks to the various benefits enjoyed by this type of car, which offer its driver a smoother driving as well. a reduction in fuel consumption, while reducing the percentage of harmful gas emissions resulting from the combustion of fuel.

The name of this type of “hybrid” car is due to its combination of two systems in one car, namely the electric car system and the fuel car system, where the “integrated starter” works with the engine efficiency to reduce fuel consumption. , especially in urban driving and traffic jams.

This car helps control more power, as the built-in starter generator stimulates the combustion engine to charge the engine with fuel.

One of the advantages of hybrid cars is that if their speed does not exceed 60 km / h (usually in the city center), they use the electric motor, which is automatically recharged thanks to a “battery” charged by the gasoline engine. .

2021, an exceptional year

On the other hand, the CEO of the Toyota branch in Tunisia considered that the year 2021 was exceptional in terms of local sales, as it sold 4,750 cars, specifying that about 350 hybrid cars were sold. on the total number of cars sold. of the Japanese brand in Tunisia.

Belkhiria stressed that the development of the brand in the Tunisian market testifies to the confidence it has gained over time in terms of quality, price and interest in after-sales.

He said that despite the strong demand from the Tunisian customer to buy the hybrid car, its production level is considered low due to the fluctuation of the world market due to the lack of automotive semiconductors.

Supply difficulties

Belkhiria did not deny the existence of difficulties faced by the brand and even the rest of the rest of the manufacturers in early 2022 due to the lack of chips, and this as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, because all car manufacturers have suffered from a shortage of production, which has affected the satisfaction of the demands of suppliers in all countries of the world.

He said that the second problem facing the brand this year is the quota system implemented in Tunisia by the Ministry of Commerce for all car dealers, which has damaged the brand “victim of” an injustice “. he said, preventing his market share from increasing.

The same source noted that it is established that if a brand is able to advance in sales rates, that is, that the customer requests it, this is the order of the Ministry of Supervision and the Chamber of Car Dealers that automatically increase quotas in Tunisian. market, which was not the case for Toyota despite the remarkable development of its sales by ranking third locally, according to him.

In the same context, he explained that the brand has contacted the Ministry of Commerce for this case, recalling that the quota system does not conform to the demands of the market and customers. “We are in 2022 and we are still implementing the quota system in Tunisia, let the customer be free to choose!” He said.

Investment development in Tunisia

In a related context, Belkhiria spoke of TICAD8, which will have a positive impact on the level of trade between Tunisia, Japan and even other African countries, he predicted.

He hoped that Tunisia would seize the opportunity of this important forum to change its investment legislation to attract Japanese companies, revealing that there is indeed a desire of the parent company “Toyota” to invest in Tunisia. , especially in the field of van manufacturing by building a factory specializing in the automotive industry in Tunisia for this international brand.

He considered that negotiations with Tunisia in this regard are well advanced, awaiting the forthcoming meetings between the Tunisian Ministries of Industry and Trade and a senior official of the company who will be coming to Tunisia soon.

Belkhiria hopes Tunisia will be able to attract the world’s first carmaker, Toyota, to improve Tunisia’s image abroad in the field of the car industry and its components.

It should be noted that the Director General of Laboratory Industries of the Ministry of Industry, Fathi Sahlaoui, had said that Tunisia seeks to attract international manufacturers from the automotive industry, but this requires many improvements in infrastructure and ports, with the provision of ‘a logistics space.

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