Toyota Thailand has launched a new pickup truck, adding an entry level model in a top selling segment in the country which is a global production hub for multiple light truck brands including the automaker’s regular Hilux line.
The new Hilux Champ was designed to meet the needs of small businesses and consumers.
The range was unveiled first at the Japan Mobility Show last October and was launched in Thailand, the Hilux’s largest single market, at this week’s Bangkok International Motor Expo.
Toyota said development of the truck was led by Thai engineers after “thoroughly researching local customer lifestyles”.
The new truck is based on the IMV platform used for the regular Hilux line and also the long-running, low price entry levek Indonesian made Innova MPV. Since the IMV platform was first introduced in 2004, Toyota has sold 2.7m Hilux trucks in Thailand and exported a further 4m to 180 countries.
The Champ, codenamed IMV 0, was designed to be an affordable pickup truck and comes with a variety of customisable options to reach a broader customer base of business types and users.
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There are short and long wheelbase versions and a choice of three well proven Toyota engines: two-litre and 2.7-litre petrol plus a 2.4-litre diesel. There is also an entry level, low content model with a simple flat deck load tray. Prices range between THB459,000 and THB577,000 (US$13,000-US$16,400).
Toyota hopes the new model will help revive the overall Thai vehicle market which, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), declined 7% year on year to 586,870 units in the first nine months of 2023, driven lower mainly by a 29% drop in pickup sales to 208,699 units. Hilux sales were down 24% to 83,000 YTD.