Toyota is probably the most popular and dominant brand in Zimbabwe. The make needs not much in terms of introduction. Toyotas are reputed to be strong, durable; and, regardless of mileage, generally score very high in terms of resale value.
Toyota is one of the world's largest automakers, and the market leader in Africa. Ever since its creation in 1937, the Japanese firm has been renowned for the quality and exceptional reliability of its high-tech products. In 2011, it was ranked 8Â in Fortune Magazine's list of the largest corporations.
Toyota state that their success is born out of exemplary management practices, a unique philosophy and effective methods. Toyota has innovated relentlessly in both the technological and environmental domains, and is an undisputed pioneer of hybrid cars.
Total commitment to quality is exhibited in their kaizen principle of constant improvement "We can always do better," that guides Toyota's quest for total quality. It harnesses leading-edge technology to produce cars that offer great performance, reliability and driving pleasure.
The biggest Toyota new vehicle market in Zimbabwe is the Government, State Operated Enterprises, Non-Governmental Organisations, and some individuals.
The rest of the market is dominated by the so called grey imports, or pre-owned vehicles; mainly from Asia, Europe, and South Africa. They come in all sizes, shapes and ages. Toyota Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe franchise holder, does not generally offer service support for these, although some of their dealers may do. Maintenance and repairs of the grey imports are mainly done at independent workshops and lone ranger mechanics.
The most common and popular make on Zimbabwean roads is the Toyota Hiace, or Kombi, or Commuter Omnibus, used as a people mover. The Hilux and Corolla (various) are the popular personal car brands. The Land Cruiser, in its variations, is a popular on and off roader, as well as an epitome of driving luxury.
The Cressida left a mark, immortalised in a song, having been a local assembly, at a time when good cars were hard to come by. The Corolla and the Camry are also living legends.
Today, the Toyota brands are too numerous to mention. The choices seem unlimited, but the common thread is that they all carry the Toyota mantra of quality. The focus may have shifted, though, to fuel economy, adaptability to poor roads, availability of spares, resale values, and adaptability to various uses. In Zimbabwe, cargo capacity and ability to deal with bad roads seem to be key factors. â€œWe donâ€™t seem to care about loads, as long as there is space, we load up.â€
Toyota is represented by Toyota Zimbabwe and various sub-dealers.
A number of Toyota models are reviewed below.Â