Troller, a Brazilian off-road vehicle maker, is starting production of its Pantanal pick-up. The vehicle is the first pick-up for the brand that since 1996 has produce the T4, a 4×4 two door jeep with fibreglass body.

To make the Pantanal, the company has invested about $US9 million in developing the vehicle and in enlarging its plant in Horizonte city, in Ceará state, in northeast Brazil. Production capacity will increase from 150 units per month to 400.

The Pantanal is a single cab pick-up 5,250mm long with a 1.1ton cargo capacity. The vehicle has a steel chassis and fibreglass body and is powered by a MWM 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine with 132hp and Eaton manual transmission.

Sales in Brazil will start in the first quarter of next year and Troller will sell versions with both two and four wheel drive. The Pantanal is aimed at commercial users and its competitors are the Chevrolet S10, Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi L200.

The company also plans to export the Pantanal to Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Next year, the T4 jeep model be assembled in Angola from CKD kits shipped from Brazil and Troller also plans to send Pantanal pick-up kits for assembly there.

Pantanal has plans to extend its vehicle range further, launching a
double cab Pantanal in 2005.

It is also developing a longer four door jeep model which will be introduced at the start of 2006.

Troller was established in 1995 and last year produced 1,100 vehicles. This year the company plans 1,300 units and wants to double this in 2005.

Rogério Louro