Toyota Oz Waves Off 800,000th HiLux Photo:
Mike Stevens | Jan, 24 2014 | 5 Comments

Toyota Australia says it has marked the Corolla's ascension to the top of the best-selling car list with another record: the sale of its 800,000th HiLux since it first launched in 1971.

Already the country's best-selling light commercial vehicle for 16 years, HiLux sales topped 39,931 in 2013 alone - beating Mitsubishi's Triton and Nissan's Navara by more than 15,000 units.

The company hasn't pinpointed the 800,000th sale, but with 799,738 the total at the end of 2013, Toyota sales boss Tony Cramb reckons the milestone would have come early in January.

“Incredible loyalty from existing owners and constant take-up by new customers has resulted in tremendous sales success for HiLux – and it remains the best-selling vehicle of its type,” Cramb said.

Toyota says the breakdown of sales across the HiLux's driving configurations works out to more than 440,000 4x4 models and nearly 360,000 4x2 variants.

Annual HiLux sales first cracked 20,000 in 1998, marching on to the 30,000 mark in 2005. The range surpassed 40,000 sales in 2007, even reaching 42,956 in 2008.

Numbers have fluctuated in the years since - 2012 saw 40,646 sales, and 2013’s slight dip can likely be attributed to the uncertainty that came with the Fringe Benefits Tax shakeup - but the HiLux remains Australia’s most popular LCV.

"HiLux owners love their vehicles, and they are extremely loyal,” Tony Cramb said.

“Their passion and support reflect the strength and quality of both HiLux and the Toyota brand.”

Toyota updated its HiLux range for 2014 in November last year, upgrading safety to 5-Star ANCAP ratings for Extra and Single Cab models while adding new features and streamlining the model spread.

This week, Toyota announced similar updates to its Dual Cab HiLux range.

Importantly for the local market, Toyota Australia engineers are also expected to have a greater than ever influence in the development of the next-generation HiLux, focusing on the global suspension and handling systems.

In simple terms; “We’re working on how it goes, turns and stops,” Toyota Australia engineer Paul Diamandis told TMR last year. He said that the Australian market and the challenging conditions here puts unique demands on a vehicle.

“If it can survive in Australia it can survive anywhere.”

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