By Theodore Opara
WHILE other automakers are trying to copy the Toyota mini van, Hiace, the Japanese automaker is rolling out a completely repackaged and redesigned Toyota Hiace. Toyota Motor Corporation has announced it has unveiled in The Philippines its first new Hiace model designed for overseas markets.
The new Hiace is built on a special revised platform that not only greatly enhances comfort and achieves advanced-level safety, but is extremely durable with excellent basic performance, making it suitable both for customers’ daily lives and for business.
The redesigned Hiace has dropped the box body and opted for an extended bonnet. In emerging markets, where the automobile market has continued to expand throughout approximately the last decade, demand has risen for passenger transportation including tourist minibuses, private buses, and vehicles for use in logistics. The new Hiace has been developed to be able to flexibly respond to these diverse needs.
Following launch in The Philippines, the new model is to be gradually introduced in other countries and regions, with a focus on emerging markets. The current Hiace model will continue to be sold in Japan as-is, due to the different local market environment. But it is not yet known whether Toyota Nigeria would opt for the new body or stick to the design sold in Japan.
“The Hiace was developed using the key words of “Hiace Pride,” and from the concept of being a faithful partner that makes people feel safe, satisfied, and proud. Owners, drivers, and passengers know they are in good hands when they own, drive, and ride in a Hiace,” commented Chief Engineer Takuo Ishikawa, who was responsible for its development. Since the launch of the first-generation Hiace in 1967, it has become one of Toyota’s representative global vehicles, with more than 6.24 million units sold in over 150 countries. The Hiace demonstrates prowess through its high durability and reliability, and has been used as a van, a minibus, and as private transportation. Currently, it is largely sold in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Oceania, Mexico, and Latin America. The new Hiace is powered by 3.5 litre gasoline engine which offers improved ride comfort with excellent safety, via an all-new body based on Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). The new Hiace is also available in standard and high roof.