Toyota SA targets 2024 introduction of hybrid Hilux produced at Prospecton plant

11th August 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has confirmed that it is targeting the introduction of a mild-hybrid Hilux bakkie into the South African market next year.

TSAM says the hybrid version of South Africa’s best-selling vehicle will be produced at its Prospecton plant, in Durban, alongside the rest of the Hilux range.

The hybrid Hilux will add to the Corolla Cross hybrid, also assembled at the Durban plant.

The new addition will take the domestic automotive industry’s hybrid production to five models by the end of 2024 – the Hilux and Corolla Cross mild hybrids, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG PHEV and the BMW X3 PHEV.

Toyota in June conducted a demonstration run of the Hilux mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) concept model at Kasarani, Kenya, during the seventh round of the World Rally Championship (WRC).

The concept vehicle was driven by four-time WRC champion and former Toyota world-title winner Juha Kankkunen from Finland, with co-driver Jimmi Gathu, a local Kenyan media personality and actor.

“I’m 100% sure that this type of car will fit in Africa very well because there are still long-distance drives and it’s very difficult to charge electric cars,” said Kankkunen following the drive.

“You can save fuel, which means less carbon dioxide. Africa is a good market for this kind of car . . . That is the future.”

Toyota earlier this year announced that it will take a multi-pathway approach to carbon neutrality, presenting various options that are fit-for-purpose to each region, under the policy of ‘leaving no one behind’.

In light of the often unstable electricity supply in Africa, the Japanese carmaker believes that MHEVs are the continent’s most viable entry point into the electric vehicle market, as they do not require charging infrastructure, while also making use of existing refuelling infrastructure.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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