Motoring News

Toyota in 5 Continents test: Will Africa be the toughest

  • Toyota starts final 5 Continents Drive Project
  • Seeking goal of assembling ‘ever-better cars’
  • Covering Australia, Americas, Europe and Africa
HEADING FOR AFRICA: Africa is about to be the fifth of a 5 Continents odyssey to determine Toyota's future. Image: Toyota Motors
HEADING FOR AFRICA: Africa is about to become the fifth of a 5 Continents odyssey to determine Toyota’s future. Image: Toyota Motors 

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Automaker Toyota is about to start the last of its 5 Continents Drive Project, this one across Africa, to follow Australia (2014), the Americas (2015 and 2016, classifying North and South America as separate continents) and Europe (2017).

Suzuki Motor Corporation, Hino Motors (a Toyota subsidiary) and Toyota Body Company will join the project.

Toyota explained that experiencing Africa’s unique cultures, climate, and often harsh conditions for vehicles would give a better understanding of customers needs’and enable the delivery of cars most suited Africa of tomorrow.

The 5 Continents Drive is being carried out under the umbrella of Toyota Gazoo Racing representatives from Japan and South Africa who will drive the cars on roads used daily by customers.

The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 will be a target culmination.

2018 Drive Project in Africa

Duration: Late August to early November. 2018
Route: Eastern and southern Africa (two teams): Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa. Teams primarily employees from local distributors who are also scheduled to drive in other regions.
Distance: About 15 000km.
Roads: Commuter and daily-use roads, gravel roads, high-altitude mountain roads, safaris, deserts, and others unique to Africa.
Vehicles: Focus on all-wheel drive vehicles such as Land Cruiser, Hilux, and Fortuner.
Team members: A mixed team of about 80 employees from Toyota, Suzuki, Hino and Toyota Auto Body.

WHAT THE BOSS HAS TO SAY

Akio Toyoda, president of the Toyota Motor Corporation, told The Corner in a media release: ”Our 5 Continents project was born from the idea that to make ever-better cars we need to better understand the world’s roads.

”Since the project started in 2014, 480 employees have driven for 350 days over 89 000 km across Australia, North and South America), and Europe. Team members left their usual work to drive on a variety of roads around the world – including those in extreme natural environments.

READ MORE Toyota features on Carman’s Corner

”I’ve felt when driving across Africa that cars are not only transport but also indispensable for people to go about their daily routines and also protect their lives. What type of ‘cherished vehicle’ do people genuinely desire? What sort of happiness do cars give them?

”I want to create ever-better cars. I want to ensure that cars are fun and loved. My wish is that all involved in this drive will learn a great deal on African roads, and return safe and sound.”

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