Toyota is telling us that the all-new Vigo is on its way, but really, there’s not that much “new” about Thailand’s favorite workhorse as far as I can see.
There is a new front bumper, revised guard flare styling and a new bonnet with central air scoop, as opposed to the previous off-center one. The new grille has three horizontal bars plus wrap-around headlights.
There are some detail changes in the interior, and other minor changes with the rear tail lights.
Toyota are also promising a greater choice of entry-level Vigo models for export in September while all four-wheel drive models will have an uprated towing capacity of 2.5 tonnes.
Overseas, as well as locally, the sales were down this year. Two-wheel drives were down 21 percent in Australia, and the four-wheel drives down 8.6 percent on last year’s figures. The overall two-wheel drive market has fallen in 2011, down 12.7 percent to the end of June. One factor was Toyota’s production line in Thailand was affected by the Japanese earthquake disrupting some suppliers.
However, in 2011 there is more competition for pick-up buyers. Nissan’s Navara and Mitsubishi’s Triton are newer in design, and the about to be released Ford Ranger and Mazda’s all-new, BT-50s have people waiting.
Australians get an even wider choice than we do in Thailand (and this is supposed to be the pick-up center for the world). There are cheaper rivals such as the Chinese Great Wall’s V240 and the new Volkswagen Amarok at the high end of the segment.
However, despite some downward market trends, the HiLux Vigo is still Australia’s best-selling pick-up, best-selling four-wheel drive and most popular commercial vehicle; helped in part by company and government fleets.
In Thailand there is also strong competition from Isuzu and Chevrolet, so the next six months should see some strong marketing in this market sector.