The success of the Toyota brand has been evident in different parts of the world as a result of continuous development and quality improvement. Its global presence and sales have grown tremendously leading the brand to emerge as a peoples’ brand in Africa.
Undoubtedly, no amount of writing can provide the Toyota story justice, for it is modestly abundant. The brand has humbly grown from weaving looms to scooping the ‘greatness’ title on the road and ultimately, as Akio Toyoda states: “to making people pleased when they drive the Toyota cars.”
It was inevitable that after the increase of demand on the Japanese market, United States of American was the first to taste the skill and technical talent on the know-how of the first hand innovation from Japan. For more than 75 years now, Toyota Motors Corporation has been giving value for money to customers. High sales volume coupled with positive brand perception attracted business opportunities in other developing markets such as BRIC Nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China), which led Toyota to emerge as the most successful automotive company in the world.
Notably, the accomplishments were obvious and Toyota brand managed to tap into the African market, by exporting the first Toyota model (Land Cruiser) in 1959.
In the late 1959, exports of the Land Cruiser where extended to Nigeria, Angola, while other countries like Ethiopia received Toyota Crown.
Toyota has established a solid presence in each country through specific efforts tailored to local conditions. Toyota currently has a sales network that extends to 53 African countries, with intentions to continuously respond to its’ market growth. Production in Africa began in 1962 in South Africa, where a plant was set up to assemble Hilux and Corolla. The units were then to be exported to Europe and throughout Africa. Furthermore, assembly in Kenya began in 1977.
Toyota is a great employer in the world
Toyota is one of the biggest employers, with over 340,000 employees in the world. This company changes lives not only on the road, but around the dinner table, in national parks and various sectors. Since its establishment in 1937, Toyota has grown to be the biggest auto company in the world by production. For many people in Africa, what will always make Toyota stay a household name is that it is a brand for everyone.
Designed for Africa
One of the reasons why Toyota has won hearts all over Africa is that the vehicles are specifically designed and build for the rough and tough terrains coupled with the hot African climate. This can be seen in the way our models overcame the different terrains across the continent and the reliability they provide to millions of customers, with various, but always high demands.
Entrance of Toyota on the Zambia Automotive Market
The entrance of Toyota on the Zambian automotive market dates back to 1963 when Mobile Motors was first incorporated under the Lonrho Group. In 1994, the company changed its name to Toyota Zambia and in 1997 Lonrho group entered into joint venture with Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC), a trading division of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in which TTC acquired 50% shares in Toyota Zambia Limited.
Fast forward to 2001, TTC acquired 100% shareholding of Toyota Zambia Ltd. With this acquisition, massive capital injections have led to major rehabilitation and expansion projects. Some notable attainments include the opening of aftersales facility in Livingstone in 2010, the rehabilitation of Copperbelt branch in Kitwe in 2011, the opening of Nangwenya Toyota branch in 2013 and the opening of Solwezi Toyota branch in 2017. The company has further expanded its foot print in the country which has seen the appointment of three authorised service centres in Kabwe, Chipata and Mkushi towns.
Toyota Zambia has a 250 strong workforce that seeks to provide a superior service and exceed our customers’ expectations in all of its 5 branches. To achieve this, the company has set up systems and measures dedicated to provide training for all staff, regardless of the department they work in. From time to time, the company further hosts qualified trainers from Japan, South Africa as well as Kenya to further guide and support the development of its staff and level of service delivered to its esteemed Zambian customers.
Under the leadership of Mr. Dino Bianchi, the company’s Country CEO, Toyota has a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) which has seen the company getting involved in a number of community based programmes from healthcare, road safety to education.
The next set of articles will now focus on some members of staff that contribute to the growth of our organisation. Stay tuned…