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Toyota answers your questions

2008-09-22 09:23

There appears to be a great concern that vehicles built in South Africa and exported to Australia are comparatively cheaper there than they are in their home market. If this is true, what are the reasons for this?

Point of correction, Toyota SA does not export its cars to Australia. We only export our cars to Europe and Africa. This is an ongoing debate about SA-built cars being priced cheaper in overseas markets than they are here.

However, there are a number of factors that one must consider, namely, specifications, exchange rate and pricing structures of different markets. Exchange rates - weaker ZAR vs stronger Australian dollar will always skew the pricing of cars between the two countries.

Regarding turbodiesel derivatives, why are the Yaris, Avanza and Verso ranges not offered with a diesel option? When will the new 1.4 D-4D be offered in South Africa?

And why do none of your existing turbodiesel offerings come with the option of an automatic gearbox?

Also, is Toyota SA planning to introduce the 3.0-litre D-4D, or a higher-powered engine, in the Land Cruiser range? At the same time, why do we not get any new-spec diesel engines in the Pick-up and Land Cruiser 70? 

South Africa has not yet embraced diesel engines in smaller cars (B-Segment). There is no stronger business case for Toyota SA to introduce diesel engines for smaller cars. Sales of vehicles like Getz and Fiesta are good proof of our customers’ unwillingness to purchase these cars. The issue of SA’s diesel quality is a hinderance for Toyota to introduce certain diesel engine especially the D-CAT engines which run on lower sulphur diesels.

Land Cruiser 200 & Prado diesel engines have automatic transmission. We are also looking at introducing automatic transmissions for Hilux & Fortuner diesel derivatives in the future.

Unfortunately, we will be not introducing the twin-turbo diesel engine for pick up and station wagon in SA.

Given Toyota's slogan "leading the way", why is this not true for electric vehicles? Is Toyota exploring electric cars or other forms of alternatively fueled cars?

What are Toyota SA's future plans for hybrid models in South Africa and what is Toyota doing to make hybrids more affordable for "average" consumers?

When will the next generation Prius be available in South Africa and will its introduction assist in moving prices down? What is the possibility of Toyota SA producing hybrid cars in South Africa?

As part of our sustainable mobility philosophy, we are continually exploring alternative fuel efficient technologies for our cars.

The future of hybrid in SA is looking positive. Lexus will soon be introducing their range of hybrid vehicles. Since the beginning of 2008, Prius demand exceeded supply which was a good indication to us that South Africans are appreciating the value and fuel efficiency of the car. New generation Prius will be introduced during the course of 2009 and there are plans to offer it at an affordable price.

Honestly, the possibility of producing hybrids in SA is not great. Production follows the market and unfortunately, SA is not a big market for hybrid vehicles.

There are several readers who have responded to the negative publicity relating to Fortuner and a rear suspension problem that could, reportedly, cause the vehicle to roll on gravel roads. What is Toyota SA's official stance on the allegations among members of the 4X4 community and, if these are true, what is Toyota SA doing to warn existing owners? Why has a recall not been issued and will these issues be rectified once the model is facelifted?

Our technical department is earnestly looking at these concerns from our customers about Fortuner to establish the cause of the reported incidents.

Has Toyota SA considered officially launching the TRD performance arm in the country? Will there be an Auris RSI and will this be more intense than the RunX RSI to offer a real challenge to the hot hatch brigade? Also, is there any chance of South Africa getting the Yaris TS?

Toyota is always looking at possibilities of creating excitement for its cars and TRD is one of the options that we are investigating. We are hopeful that in the future we will be able to offer this option to our customers.

How much say does Toyota SA have in deciding which models/products are marketed here? How has this changed since Toyota has taken full control of the local operation, and what are its implications for Toyota SA in the future?

Toyota SA conducts comprehensive research and studies in SA to understand future trends and market demands. Based on this data, we will consult with Toyota Motor Corporation to determine which products in their line up will be appropriate to fulfill customer needs at that time.

With the Yaris close to the top of the sales charts every month, it seems the South African public is satisfied with the two engine options (1.0- and 1.3-litre), but has Toyota considered the possibility of adding a 1.5- or 1.6-litre model, particularly for the Yaris sedan? Or is it feared, in the Yaris sedan at least, that the bigger engined model would cannibalise on Corolla?

You have answered the question. Corolla and Auris will be ideal vehicles for a person that wants a vehicle with a 1,4- or 1,6-litre engine.

Are there any plans to introduce a smaller rear-wheel drive half- or three-quarter-ton bakkie to take on the Opel Corsa Utility, Fiat Strada, Fiat Bantam and upcoming Nissan NP200.

It’s our intention to have presence in most of the segments & hopefully in the future we will be able to introduce a vehicle that can successfully compete in this segment.

Why was the Camry dropped from the line-up? And, with Avensis sales taking a knock, could Toyota SA reconsider its Camry decision and reintroduce the new version?

Toyota SA follows the European market in terms of its product line up, hence the introduction of Avensis as a replacement of Camry. Avensis is the market leader in this shrinking segment albeit lower sales numbers. At the moment, there are no plans to re-introduce Camry in SA.

Why is Toyota SA not bringing the Aygo, iQ and Urban Cruiser to the country?

Yaris is performing well in the B segment where Aygo would have been. So for now, there is no business case for Toyota to introduce Aygo. iQ and Urban Cruiser are new small cars that will be introduced in Europe in the next coming months. At the moment, there are no plans to bring them to SA.

Will alternative colours be made available for the Avanza and Fortuner interiors?

We have had a number of recommendations from our customers about changing the interior colours of Avanza and Fortuner. We have taken note of their recommendations and we are investigating available options which could be introduced in the future.



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