Time was when fleet owners were happy with the ‘poverty pack’ version of a manufacturer’s six cylinder car or four cylinder ute.
Those of us with long memories will still wince at this time of year at the thought of a vinyl bench seat, a three-on-the-tree manual gear change, and a pair of short Stubbies….
Even parked in the shade that vinyl would heat up in a matter of minutes and if exposed to bright sunlight the result was positively nuclear……
These days things have – thankfully – gone full circle. You only have to look at the various utility vehicles in use by power and/or telecommunication authorities around the place.
Even in our major urban areas of Auckland and Christchurch it’s not unusual to see ‘work trucks’ fitted with front bars, winches and snorkels. And you just have to ‘tagalong’ on any Safari over the summer and check out how many private trucks are running lift kits and some type of underbody protection.
Manufacturers have not been slow in cottoning on to the trend, Toyota’s new Hilux range a good example.
At the official launch of the new Gen 8 model, Toyota New Zealand general manager of product, Spencer Martin revealed that the company “has more than 200 genuine parts and accessories available for the 2016 Hilux at its launch.”
And that, remember, is just the number of genuine Toyota-approved parts available through the dealer network.
Add products form the likes of specialist 4WD outfitters ARB and Ironman, as well as specialists in the bar and canopy/hard lid areas and the sky is the limit.