Toyota Tsusho started the exportation of Toyota vehicle to Kenya in the early 1960s beginning with the Corona 1600, which was laughed at by distributors of European and American Cars then, However, we preserved and progressively increased our vehicle penetration and company presence until 50 plus years, later Toyota vehicles have been well accepted and used on Kenya’s city roads, tough roads and sometimes no roads, thanks to the support of the government of Kenya, Japan, AVA and those who love the Toyota Kenya experience. Today, here in Kenya they say that not only is the car in front of you always a Toyota, but the Police car behind you is also a Toyota.
Now, on this great occasion, please allow me to introduce the Toyota Hilux.
The Hilux debuted in March 1968 as a new bonnet-type pick-up truck in the global market. It was made to be tough and became a reliable partner to our customers, and so far has sold around 17.7 million units around the world. In Kenya, we started the local assembly in April 1979. Unfortunately, we stopped the assembly of the Hilux in April 2005, after producing more than 19,000 units here in AVA.
Since then, we kept looking for a chance to re-assemble it here and finally the long-awaited time has come. We are very excited that we are restarting the local production of the Hilux pick-up in Kenya as we celebrate 50 years of the Hilux.
We believe the Hilux is a vehicle that embodies the joy of owning something special, due in part to its dignified appearance, together with a toughness forged in the real world. Toyota Hilux Pick Up ‘Ni Imara Daima’ and we appreciate for the support of your Government to Hilux production in Kenya.
“With Africa, For Africa” is one of Toyota Tsusho’s vision to commit the realization of continuous growth with Africa. In this exciting region, we place great importance on the country of Kenya. Last August, in TICAD 7, Toyota Tsusho signed more than three MOUs with the Republic of Kenya, including a comprehensive MOU covering Kenya’s “Big Four Agenda” to further strengthen our business in Kenya.
We conduct not only automotive business, but also supply cranes for Mombasa port development, promote mini-grid business in non-electrified regions, produce fertilizer known as “Baraka” and so on. For the bright future of Kenya, we commit to continue being a company that is trusted by our customers and ready to work with your government in areas where we can improve the lives of Kenyans through various initiatives. As Toyota Tsusho Corporation, we are very pleased to be associated with your Government’s expansion of the manufacturing sector under the 4-Pillar strategy through local assembly of Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux vehicles.
Lastly, the launch of this assembly line would not have been possible without your government’s commitment to creating a conducive business environment for manufacturers. Toyota Tsusho and Toyota Kenya will walk with you in ensuring that we have more opportunities for the Kenyan youth to get employment by offering technical training, and tutoring through Toyota Kenya Academy, and scholarships through the Toyota Kenya Foundation whilst growing the auto industry to become a major contributor to the economy.