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Opposites attract as market re-shapes


April 2, 2007, 7am. It’s opposite ends of the spectrum that are doing best in Toyota’s world, according to senior general manager Alistair Davis (pictured).

On one hand, Daihatsu sales are up 18 percent so far this year; on the other, the Luxury brand Lexus is up by 16 percent.

Both have benefited from the reshaping of the New Zealand car market in the wake of fuel prices and environmental concern.

The Daihatsu increase has a lot to do with fuel economy, says Davis, but the unusual-looking Materia has also proved an unexpected hit.

“Some dealers hardly wanted to know about it, but demand has been incredible and now we’re having supply problems.”

Lexus has benefited from the two hybrid vehicles in its range which, says Davis, allow people to buy expensive luxury cars while showing concern for the environment.

Nearly 40 percent of Lexus sales are now of hybrids.

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