Toyota has retained its number one spot as the world’s biggest manufacturer beating its closest
rival GM by 270,000 units. Toyota sold 9.98 million vehicles during 2013 up 2% from the year before as Toyota also announced plans to sell 10.32 million vehicles in 2014. Toyota has still managed to revive its fate after the damages it faced in the 2011 tsunami. The tsunami and earthquake in 2011 caused extensive widespread devastation which affected car suppliers and production.
Toyota has also been facing reputational issues after a series of recalls and safety issues as more than 14 million vehicles have been recalled since 2009. However, at the end of 2013, Japan’s exports saw their biggest annual rise for three years. Car exports also rose to 31.3% year-on-year, as the Japanese yen saw big falls in value against the dollar. Toyota has been the top manufacturer in the world for more than 70 years. Toyota was the king of automakers till 2011. However, it regained the number one position in 2012.
GM sold 9.71 million vehicles last year, while Germany’s Volkswagen came in third with sales of 9.5 million vehicles. Toyota’s leading models have been Lexus and Prius hybrid models. Toyota’s sales target for 2014 is 10.32 million which is significant as no carmaker has gone beyond the 10 million mark. The three largest carmakers all had a strong 2013, and the figures are an indication of a healthy global automotive sector.
Toyota Hilux is a big seller around the world and is known as the Vigo in Asian markets. It’s simply Hilux in the UK!
Toyota Hilux Vigo
The popular Surf version was not sold here officially but was sold as 4Runner. It was also axed in 2009 and the latest 2013 range is one of the most comprehensive on the large pick-up market. It comes in three trims: a single cab, extra cab and double cab plus HL2, HL3 and Invincible specifications.
The Hilux’s single and extra cab versions only come in entry level HL2 version primarily for working users whereas drivers opting for double cab can choose from all three specs. HL2 and HL3 trims have 2.5 litre Toyota diesel engine giving 144bhp mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The best of the range is a 3.0 litre diesel engine churning out 171bhp which can be mated to both five-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.
All the trims come fitted with automatic part time four wheel drive. The standard equipment includes
Toyota Hilux Interior
electric windows, remote central locking, air-con and electric and heated door mirrors. There is sat-nav touchscreen to the high spec Invincible models. As it goes with Toyota, the Hilux has a strong reputation for reliability. It has a huge load space but it is not as much as the VW Amarok which has bigger load space. Stability control doesn’t come as standard too. It is definitely good to drive with three trim options to choose from. It’s definitely not efficient as it is a pick up but the big Toyota is no worse in this respect than many of its rivals, with the 2.5-litre diesel promising 38.7mpg fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 194g/km.
An exceptionally wonderful off-roader was built by Toyota under the Hilux line, named Toyota Hilux Surf. It was made first using the fibreglass glass sitting over the old Hilux chassis, but with minor changes made. As the time moved on, so did the Surf, it emerged as an independent entity with good off-road capabilities. In US and Australia, it is known as Toyota 4Runner.
It was late 1989s when the Surf received the whole new fully steel integrated bodyshell, though the B pillars forward remained same as of Hilux. The engine for Toyota Hilux Surf was very powerful, designed especially keeping in view the utility of this vehicle. A 2.4-litre turbo-diesel Toyota Hilux Surf engine for sale was available in the beginning which later backed up with a 3.0-litre diesel engine. The Toyota Hilux Surf engine problem was recorded as the cylinder head cracks in the 2.4-litre variant.
The rear suspension system on this new model was again prone to slump as of previous ones. Most of these models produced as a five door, meanwhile for couple of years – during 1990 and 1992 – some 3 door models were also built which are very rare though. The trim levels offered by the Toyota Hilux Surf during its life time were: ‘SSR’, ‘SSR Ltd’, SSR-V’, ‘SSR-X’, SSR-X Ltd’ and last but not the least the awesome ‘SSR-G’.