Why Toyota Mauritius Is Lagging Behind In Sales

Recent figures from MotorMag magazine shows that although the Corolla is still their best selling model – for Toyota Mauritius (also known as Beechand previously) market share is falling. The total sales have also fallen for the group for the first quarter of 2009. Now this trend is not due to recession, it’s the relative market share on the local market and the reason to me, is obvious…

There has been a clear lack of 1. correct models and options for Mauritius; 2. inaccurate and incomplete marketing campaigns. Let’s take them one by one. Anyone who wants to critic me is open to do so.

Let’s consider the E150 Corolla that they’ve been bringing for about 2 years only as a 4-speed automatic 1.5L. Now come on, everyone knows that Mauritians who buy Japanese prefer manual gearbox. Simply offering only that (in ads) was a deterrant to many Toyota-lovers. Ah, it’s only now, after so many months that they’ve started to offer the 1.6L 5-speed manual… Late I’d say, when the market has been taken by Honda Civic and Mitsubishi Lancer (Iframac claims the Lancer to be no 1 in sales for mid-size vehicles for 2007 and 2008 although the Lancer is more a compact sedan rather than a mid-size -MotorMag, June 2009).
The Avensis is still the old model too, and the Camry has an inefficient engine, and is almost as big as a Premio/Allion: it won’t sell! 2.4L means huge taxes.

The local car market believes strongly in Japanese cars and the suitability of their models.

1. The Corolla Axio E140 is more suited to our market, with a short length but same interior space, and as wide as previous generations. Bring in the 5-sp manual and the CVT automatic (yeah, the economical one, not the retard 4-speed step-auto).

2. Bring in the CVT version of the Yaris as well. Small car buyers are women who want comfort rather than control. That would be smooth and economical while being an automatic.

3. The Allion/Premio 1.5L/1.8L sister cars are going to sell if they bring it. Allion with aero kit would definitely appeal the youth who are not taking the dated Avensis. Ah, that’s another model that should see the new version sell, which is already selling in Europe. The 1.6L Valvematic engine will do justice. Bring in the diesel version and sell for economy as well.

4. No to Camry. The Mark X would do a better job at higher end. With a 2.5L V6 doing 210hp (vs 170 something for the Camry) while being more economical and better looking. That would be the answer to the Cefiro/Teana. Mark X is larger than the Camry and it’s built on the solid Crown Royal sedan platform. After all, Mauritian car buyers are more Japanese than American…

5. Auris is the hatchback version of the Corolla E150. That definitely needs to be here to face the increasing sale of the Tiida (given similar dimensions). Same gearboxes as the Corolla and sell it as the Corolla Auris.

6. Where are the smaller cars? Peugeot is already selling the 107 with a Yaris engine (which is similar to the Toyota Aygo), so bring that here! Small cars sell good in Mauritius.

Now about the campaign. Imagine how disgusted I was when I barely saw any USP in the Camry ad. Where’s the USP’s? It’s the best selling car in USA for over
10 years, has very comfortable interior and boot etc… Same for the Corolla, after all, it’s the best selling car in the world and also the most reliable according to some… I would do a better job at the press ads and billboards…

And here I claim that if I were to choose the models to sell in Mauritius and lead their marketing campaigns, there would be a clear rise in their market share within months of making the changes!

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38 Comments (+add yours)

  1. Bruno
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 19:12:41

    hi, I’ve added you to the mauritius blog list 😉

  2. bhoot
    Jul 10, 2009 @ 21:50:56

    I recently saw the ad for the Toyota Corolla 1.6 5-speed manual on the back cover of AutoMag… Man, such a waste of space. Not enough emphasis on the product… You can’t even see the car properly – it’s too small. Not the best angle, specs not listed. 4 pictures at the bottom say that it’s manual, it has leather interior, 8 airbags and remote radio control on the steering… Man, who buys a Corolla for all that?!

    I don’t know who is to blame, the ad company who did this or the person in charge of advertising at Toyota Mauritius…

  3. bhoot
    Aug 01, 2009 @ 01:45:43

    Big news, I’ve just learned that the Corolla they sell in Mauritius is not made in Japan! Oh come on… I’m looking for investors to sell Toyota cars myself! I’m pretty sure I can beat the local importer with my ideas…

  4. ReenaDKL
    Aug 16, 2009 @ 20:14:55

    I agree with you concerning the poor marketing/advertising campaign. I know the agency which does it and can only laugh at the stupid adverts…

    Maybe Toyota should really think twice before letting some fools direct it’s campaign!

  5. MotorMag
    Sep 16, 2009 @ 09:58:46

    Le No1 des magazines Auto-moto mensuel mauricien disponible dans plus de 200 points de ventes à travers l’ile!

  6. bhoot
    Sep 30, 2009 @ 08:55:49

    So sales have grown locally (according to MotorMag). They’re back to No.2 after ABC Motors. I wonder if the fact that they’re offering second hand cards (pre-owned) is helping. Guess what, they had a pre-owned Toyota Rush (small Rav4) on display in the auto show at Les Halles. It’s a pretty small SUV with good Top Gear off-road review. It’s economical with the same NZ engine as the Corolla… But that bad is that they’re still not offering the Axio and selling the older E120 Corolla at exorbitant prices… I’ll go see my dealer rather, afterall, they’ve started offering 1 year warranty, JAAI certificates, etc…

  7. Kaye
    Nov 16, 2009 @ 10:58:43

    For me, the Toyota Corolla has the best features, styling and bang for the back sedan.

  8. bhoot
    Nov 17, 2009 @ 08:10:19

    Corolla remains the most reliable and best selling car in the world.

    And that figure includes Corolla Axio, Corolla Altis, Corolla Fielder, Corolla Rumion, Corolla Matrix, Auris, Allex etc.

    About Toyota Mauritius, they’ve done such a good thing by introducing Lexus. If I had the money, that’s what I’d have done months earlier!

  9. Torpedo
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 11:31:15

    Shit man! You have it all, nothing can be added to Beechand’s lameness, marketing fails and short-sightedness!! It’s their antique way of running business (in straight line with the owner of 80% of all Vacoas “arcades” – look at the shops’ façades and you’ll get what I mean) which is bringing Toyota’s name to shame locally.
    Enn bébéte couma ‘Mark X’ pas lors la-route? Bann family-friendly models couma Corolla Asccent (Axio version hatchback) ou Auris koté…? Faire sagrin, lakoz zot-mem ki bann revendeurs “rikonn” (= mardaye) finn bien implanté!

  10. david
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 17:48:50

    Hi,

    Do you know if ever a new model of toyota hilux will be selling out soon?

  11. bhoot
    Aug 13, 2010 @ 06:45:08

    No I don’t have that information. I have been Googling on this and it seems that a facelift version is due this year.

    http://www.distrocar.com/2010-toyota-hilux-design/

  12. dodo
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 13:07:04

    very interesting debate, agree with all of you guys. toyota mauritius sucks!
    @Torpedo
    wai mai moi mo cr ki ban rikon cars c’st seul option ki rester pou ban mauritien ki envi roule 1 loto decent a 1 bon prix. par exemple toyota Runx mem pane vine mauris alors kili ti pou 1 bon option pou ban cki p rod 1 family car ki compact.

    the auto gearboxes also pose a problem…finally a point which no one noted and which i heard of very often is that acceuil cot Toyota dan pince. mo ena imper fami kine buy cars within the last 2 yrs and surprisingly , none went for toyotas . beside their models, they told me they didnt like the acceuil over there. one just went up 5 min (in PL) to get the civic instead. anyone experienced something like that?

  13. bhoot
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 00:44:12

    Yeah, Runx and Allex are now called Auris (and Blade Master G for the sports version). I know of people who have went to Toyota Mauritius, and then to Honda (Man Hin). They were offered drink and welcomed properly at Man Hin as opposed to Beechand. They went to take a Corolla and ended up taking a Civic! It’s another debate that a Civic is superior to a Corolla (double-wishbone rear suspensions, better fuel economy, better driver involvement, better looking to my eyes…).

  14. Robin
    Sep 15, 2010 @ 11:25:16

    Hello, wanted to have ur opinion on the new Honda Civic Hybrid and the one
    entering as reconditioned? Is it basically the same car? I somewhat find both of
    them looking different. The one entering as new looking more elegant than the
    recond one. Am i right?

  15. bhoot
    Sep 15, 2010 @ 11:58:17

    They look pretty much the same. The current Civic Hybrid has different alloy wheels (dish like), door handles and hybrid label at the rear. If you are in the US market, you get different headlights and taillights to differentiate with Acura CSX (yes, the current Civic was designed as an entry luxury car first).

    Advantages with the Civic Hybrid is that it doesn’t look different (compared with Prius) and uses a 1.3L i-VTEC engine similar to the one found in Honda Fit coupled with an electric motor. The batteries are placed near the rear wheels, so you don’t waste too much space, and it keeps the same good looks. You lose the folding rear seats.

    Overall I’d say it’s the hybrid that I’d buy (although Toyota Prius 3 is more economical and larger – but more expensive). I found recon 2006-2008 Civic Hybrid about Rs 650-750k, which is excellent value, considering the new one will set you back Rs 1,200k+.

  16. Torpedo
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 16:37:18

    @ Dodo:
    “seul option ki rester pou ban mauritien ki envi roule 1 loto decent a 1 bon prix”?
    Remember these two cars which split in two after a high speed ejection from the road? Is that the price to pay for a “decent car”? Excuse moi, mais tant ki NTA laisse n’importe ki masinn-4-larou (loto, kat-kat, biss, kamion, ek saki ou-lé) rentt lor nou la-route sans mem checker si li ena enn NCAAP rating, bein li ena di-sang lor so lamé, IMHO…

    Same experience at Toyota showroom? My mother’s uncle did just that: when he entered the Honda showroom, the people were already asking him about his previous car, his researches (they know Mauritians check every piece of marketing info they see), his prejudices, and by the time he was wondering why so many precise questions, he was already seated at the wheel of an Accord for a test drive, then in a 1.8L Civic, which he purchased on the spot with a smile. Why? Before that, Toyota had made him wait for 2 days before a test drive… Et l’accueil ti bien glacial laba, d’apré saki li raconter…

  17. Torpedo
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 16:40:20

    @ ReenaDKL:
    Ah, is it the same one doing the (strange) advert with a suited man fumbling with papers flying around him and a lady looking startled (but not by) next to the new 1.6L Corolla…? 😀 Who is this ad targetting? Pa comprend kott li pe rode aller…

  18. Fardeen
    Oct 17, 2010 @ 20:04:03

    To anyone who owns a Civic Hybrid:

    Can you please tell me where can I find Civic Hybrid Air filter?

    Thanks

  19. Eyelet Curtains 
    Oct 20, 2010 @ 23:13:50

    i like the safety features of Toyota Corollas, Toyota really makes safe cars””

  20. Robin
    Nov 16, 2010 @ 14:15:14

    Is there any problem with the availability of spare parts for Honda Hybrid on the market?
    Anyone knows the price range for mid-range Japanese cars on the local market(1300-1500cc)? I think Nissan Sunny is the cheapest, not considering small cars. But is it a worthy investment?

  21. rik
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 14:06:51

    Salesman there are just horrible, its like you are begging the GRAND MISSIER to sell a car to you. i wanted to check out the Rav4 but being so disgusted by their attitude i just ran next door and went for a CRV. Cant imagine how a saleman working from beechand would say to me, look theres a car outside just take a look at it, without bothering to lift his lazy lame ass from his desk.

  22. ben
    Feb 04, 2011 @ 13:25:13

    nissan cefiro is the best car . just try none and u wll see. its driving is so exceptional

  23. benjamin
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 14:24:46

    i wonder if people could send a link of this website to toyota JAPAN or INTERNATIONAL as a sign of protest from the poor quailty and services provided by beechand? what do you guys think? who knows maybe things will improve

  24. bhoot
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 22:57:17

    @benjamin, if someone really could send them a link… 😉

    They even closed their second hand vehicle dealership in a time where others are opening new ones!
    http://lallmatie.com/blog/2011/01/20/end-of-second-hand-sales-division-for-toyota-mauritius/

  25. Johnny
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 10:05:42

    Eta Lallmatie, ki to p raconter toi ?

    Mo tende dire ki zot fine gagne award international pou zot banne publicite.

    Lallmatie, fer moi gagne to CV…mo ena ene camarade bien place…li travaille NASA….Mo pou avoye li to CV et couma ena ene vacancy li labs, li pou contacter toi….zot p rode fabrique ene fusee ki pou alle enbas dilo. To meme pou capav fer sa job la, man

  26. bhoot
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 00:07:48

    @Johnny, ban raison ki mo pe dir la pa difficile comprend from a business point of view. ala ki problem ena avec Toyota Mauritius
    1. Bad Customer Service
    2. Absense of Market Research
    3. Inefficient marketing campaigns (with previous ad company)

    How would you explain that Toyota Mauritius now ranks 8th in vehicle sales for January 2011?

  27. Falls
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 17:03:00

    This is what happens when you get some idiot of a person with no brains at all in his skull and comes to try and act smart where a very smart discussion is taking place.
    I would strongly suggest for you Johnny boy to get your brains and then come to discuss,next time you log on remember to use your head otherwise just shut up!

    I agree with you bhoot,there have been a decline in the sales for toyota lately.
    When i found this blog i couldnt believe it that my thoughts have been echoed so well.
    Very true that toyota has get there act sorted out in order to come up again.

    I am die hard toyota fan and it is really very sad to see the brand going down locally.
    In fact there are many other models as you rightly pointed out that can consolidate its supremacy locally.
    I only wish if they could do something.
    Some analysis to come later.

  28. bhoot
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 13:58:31

    Rightly said @Falls, I drive a Toyota as well 😐

    Even BusinessWeek has written bad about the E150 4-speed auto Corolla (wow, 1.5 years after me…)

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_09/b4217021055646.htm

  29. Falls
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 22:40:27

    To concur the local market i think there are so many models that can be brought to Mauritius.
    In the small car segment,the yaris/vitz is doing well,but the equipment/options are not enough.I wish the equipment was more complete.I can understand why they dont bring in the Auris,as it might steal the yaris customers.
    The Auris hybrid would fit well in the segment where people cant afford a Prius.
    [something to think about]

    As for the Corolla with the automatic gear box,it was really a bad idea.Here we always associate the corolla with a manual gear box.Economy and reliability are qualities that are always attributed to corollas.Mauritians hate automatic gear box!
    Alas the manual gear box came too late,the Mitsubishi and Honda civics were already hunting on that ground!

    Something to note is that corolla has a big fan base among elderly,i mean people in their 45-50s [who swear by the rollas]. Its embodies a very good investment for so many people who think in terms of resale value,seems that toyota mauritius forgot about this.Also young people buy corollas as their first cars so that when later they sell they still want good resale value.

    Mauritius being a small country/island and with the congestion of the roads i think they could also have thought about bringing in the Blade.Its a higher/upscale car which can compete with the Merc b class segment,meaning the luxurious small car segment.

    Speaking of upper segment,there are cars that Toyota didnt even think about.
    The new Allion/Premio.Very worthwhile bringing in,comes in many engine choices to suit different taste.
    The Mark X [ there is only one in Mauritius ] i must say beautiful car,is a very good contender to steal some niche among the Honda Accord,Merc C class,Bmw 3 series segment.
    Higher up again,the Crown can give a good ‘replique’ to the Bmw 5/7 series and Merc E class.

    To introduce new cars a very good advertising team needs to be set up and they will need to approach the potential customers.
    Aggressivity is the key,the market is there,dont ask but take it if you have the goods!

    The customer care thing is something Toyota Mtius needs to work on.As soon as some potential customer walks in their showroom you hardly get anyone attending.
    A person visiting the showroom needs to leave with a very good impression and always feel like coming back to buy a car.

    One more thing the sales people need to work on is their knowledge regarding the product they are selling and knowledge regarding competitors products.
    This impresses people.And they need to know the vehicles dynamics also.
    It helps when on a test drive to be able to help the customer-to-be to understand what to look for when test driving a car.

    There are so many things that can be done,but it all depends on the will to do things.

  30. bhoot
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 01:48:07

    @Falls may be we should start a company that imports these cars from Japan. Some companies do import new cars directly (all those brand new Allion/Premio taxis that you find) e.g. GAR Co. Or partner with some other company that already has license to import these: we could do the marketing and research part…

    Mark X sure looks great compared to the senile-looking Camry… I’m expecting that Toyota Mauritius is going to take 2 years to bring in the 3rd generation Yaris!

  31. Torpedo
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 13:29:21

    Guetter enn koutt comié modèles exister: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Toyota_vehicles#
    Ki-fer li pas faire enn service à-la-carte – full customisation? Non, trop difficile, trop pinerr, trop…
    La-dans ena nek Vitz, Corolla 1.5, Corolla 1.6, Avensis ek Prius ki Beechand ena kass pou promote dans media… Crown, Lexus tousala mo cwar zott pas konné exister.

  32. Falls
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 22:56:26

    The new version of the Allion/Premio is even nicer and more corporate style.
    That would indeed be a very lucrative business,guess what we could give Toyota Mauritius a run for their money!

  33. bhoot
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 11:34:21

    It’s two years now, and finally, I think Toyota Mauritius have realised that they were lagging behind too much. According to AutoMoto, Toyota is now the first in sale by brand for the 4 months of 2011 (Leal is overall leader now). That comes with a 30% increase in sale, although Japanese car sales have fallen with the recent anti-radioactivity effect.

    Most probably this is linked to their ads where they claim 3 year warranty – but hey that can’t compare with 7 years from KIA or 5y from Ford, Mitsubishi and Renault!

  34. Torpedo
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 15:37:28

    Did you have a look at the Corolla competitors: Kia Optima, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Lancer (EX), Nissan Sylphy? Bein, ena bez la: tou ena pliss option ki Corolla, ek pou moins cher!!

  35. harris
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 18:32:27

    With cash in your hand and a decision to take chosing from a Kia , hyundai or a Lancer: which one would you honestly take. The corolla is still THE corolla folks.Respect to the machine.

  36. bhoot
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 23:25:36

    Kia Optima is even one class higher, compares to an Avensis/Accord/Mondeo.

    I don’t deny that I learned driving on a Corolla, or that it remains the world’s best selling car of all times (more than the VW Beetle).

    But with cash in my hand, I’d go for a Honda, Kia or BMW 3 over a Toyota anytime. I’ll elaborate on some points I mentioned earlier

    – Better engines (Honda and Kia engines are more efficient that Toyota and offer more horsepower for the same capacity e.g. 1.6L Kia is the same power as a 1.8L Civic or 1.8 Toyota Valvematic or 2.0L VVT-i). This means fuel economy too.

    – Better driver involvement – you have to experience it to know the difference between a BMW 3 (best to drive), Honda (good) and Toyota/Nissan (bland feeling)

    – Civic has more expensive double-wishbone suspensions that are more adapted to our roads than the cheap torsion beam in newer Corollas (not the E120). Which makes the Civic more comfortable over rough roads and humps.

    – Civic/BMW 3 holds their resale value pretty well too. I expect Kia to go there in a few year too.

    Like Falls said, they’re not aggressive enough on the local market…

    Check out the reviews on autozine.org too.

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