If you're a fleet manager or just a vehicle owner in New Zealand, the chances are good that you have at some point in your life owned or driven a Toyota. They are one of our country's most popular manufacturers and seem to have been around since time immemorial. Almost.
In reality, Toyota has actually been here for a total of 50 years – the anniversary of which was recently celebrated with a planting of a native Puriri tree at the Toyota National Customer Centre in Palmerston North.
A history of strengths
Toyota has certainly stood the test of time. Beginning in 1966, the brand opened plants in Christchurch and Thames in order to assemble their vehicles, which were at that time imported from Japan.
However, after the tariffs on imported vehicles were lifted in the late 1990's, the plants were shut down and converted into administrative buildings.
In those 50 years, Toyota has offered us the Corolla, the Hilux, the Crown and the Corona – all staples of the New Zealand motoring landscape. The introduction of hybrid vehicles was picked up very swiftly by Toyota, every year shifting over 1,000 of these innovative transportation options. Despite a recent recall of the RAV4 due to concerns about safety, Toyota continues to dominate the market for the 28th year in a row.
"Toyota New Zealand entered the New Zealand market with the aim of leading the way to the future of mobility; that remains our mantra 50 years later," said CEO Alistair Davis.
"Recognising the 50-year journey is not only taking a moment to reflect back on the challenges and the triumphs but largely an opportunity to celebrate, motivate and prepare for the next 50 years."
Celebrate Toyota's continued success by ensuring your own. Try out a Card Smart fuel card and get yourself a bargain on petrol. Toyota, Ford, Holden or Ferrari, there's no reason that a savvy fleet manager shouldn't be aiming to get the best deals for their vehicles!