Tinashe Makichi Motoring
Toyota Zimbabwe had a four-part celebration that included opening of new premises in Msasa, introduction of the new general diesel engine Hilux and a Fortuner.
The celebrations also included the 50th anniversary of the Toyota Hilux and the re-launch of the Hino brand in Zimbabwe under the Toyota Zimbabwe banner.
The new premises launched houses the showroom, parts distribution centre, workshop and administration offices.
The premises were officially launched by CFAO Automotive Equipment Services for East and Southern Africa chief executive Masakazu Ohira and Andre Venter, Vice DBM for commercial vehicles Toyota Tsusho Africa.
Hino Division was also in attendance.
“Toyota Zimbabwe has been operating in the country for 50 years and this investment was made with the future in mind hence the relocation to 67 Mutare Road, Msasa.
“This move was made with the customer in mind and also to apply the set standards of Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan,” said Toyota Zimbabwe managing director Ian Howden.
The launch was attended by local captains of industry, fleet managers, embassy representatives and people in the related industries.
Toyota Zimbabwe highlighted that its shareholders take great pride in now being able to offer its customers world class facilities and services, which were conceived purely for their satisfaction.
The new premises were renovated by Keith Skinner Architects, Leus Construction, Turner and Townsend and a number of other sub-contractors.
Mr Howden said the new facility is more than a financial investment for Toyota Zimbabwe, but also its people including the dealers.
Toyota Zimbabwe and its dealer network jointly employ more than 700 people.
The new facility provides Toyota with the opportunity to develop all of these people through in-house training and practical experience.
“Strong partnerships have also been formed with Polytechnic colleges in the training of apprentices and technical lecturers come to Toyota to learn about the latest technology in the motoring world, said Mr Howden.
Toyota also launched the new generation Hino 300 and 500 series trucks and the new Hilux and Fortuner models fitted with GD (General Diesel) series engine.
Mr Howden remarked; “exactly fifty years and two days ago, on March 21,1968 the first ever Hilux rolled off the assembly line at the Hino Motors Hamura plant.”
He said Toyota Zimbabwe would be bringing in its own version of a Limited 50th Anniversary Edition of the Hilux later in the year and will be offering 50 special vehicles that will certainly become a collector’s item.
The Hilux and Fortuner range fitted with the GD engine is a true mechanical master piece, they develop 40 percent more power and 50 percent more torque than the previous generation Hilux.
The new Hino 300 and 500 series trucks have been given a new lease of life and will certainly be the ultimate solution to those with heavier transport needs.