Fortuner or Hilux? Toyota banks on different strokes for different folks
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) recently unveiled the Hilux pick-up truck in the Indian market. Hilux is the first model in the lifestyle pick-up segment to be brought in by Toyota here. With plans of a launch come March, Toyota is betting big on the Hilux pick-up to appeal to customers who are looking for a lifestyle utility vehicle.
While Toyota does strong business in India courtesy the enormously popular Fortuner and Innova Crysta, the company believes that customers here are ready for a product like Hilux which has been around globally for over 50 years. "Pick up has been here little bit longer that SUVs... in terms of performance itself, the usage of the pickup truck is very unique compared to normal SUVs," Toyota's Regional Chief Engineer Jurachart Jongusuk told HT Auto, speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Hilux in the country.
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Elaborating on how the Hilux differs from the Fortuner, Jongusuk said that the hardware for both the models is tuned up differently and even their systems are set up differently. As customers would tend to take the Hilux more on offbeat locations as compared to Fortuner which mainly does duty in city areas and on highways, the suspension too has been set up differently. "Fortuner and Hilux are different as suspension is different... specially for Hilux that the people tend to bring it for the off-road condition, much more than the Fortuner," he said.
The eight-generation Hilux pick-up has been designed keeping in mind both the design and performance, to maximize the best outcome from both the factors. "We did not trade off design to performance or performance to design," Jongusuk said. Additionally, Hilux has been designed to tackle extreme weather conditions or usage in congested situations as well. "We have taken into consideration those pre-conditions and I believe that its usage in Indian environment has already been considered."
While Toyota is highlighting the pick-up truck's ruggedness and toughness for the Indian roads, it is also drawing attention to the model's sophistication and lifestyle mobility solutions. Jongusuk said that with Hilux, the company is looking to tap into a new segment of lifestyle utility vehicle that customers can take out for weekend gateways, for commuting on city roads or even to jungle trails, all the while also making a style statement.