Toyota Hilux is always No.1? Here are countries where it's not
Eric · Jul 29, 2021 10:00 AM
Malaysians love the Toyota Hilux. There’s no disputing that. So much so that those living in Sabah and Sarawak refer all trucks as the ‘Hailak’. Doesn’t matter if you have a D-Max, Triton, or a Ranger, those in East Malaysia will call it ‘Hailak’.
Now, being a sales success in Malaysia does not necessarily mean that the Hilux can repeat the same performance overseas.
This is perhaps the most surprising one. Despite Thailand's reputation for being synonymous with Hilux, it's actually no longer no.1 there. Instead, the best-selling pick-up truck in the Kingdom is none other than the all-new Isuzu D-Max.
For the first quarter of the year, Isuzu Thailand sold 40,222 units of the D-Max, almost double of the Hilux, which managed 28,216 units in the same period.
With that many units sold, Isuzu has healthy 47.7% market share with the D-Max. As for the second-place Hilux, it has a 33.4% market share.
Vietnam is another country where the Hilux just cannot beat its core rival – the Ford Ranger.
In Vietnam, the Ford Ranger consistently outsold the Hilux this year, from January to June. Perhaps the biggest sales gap was back in March, when Ford sold 2,171 units of the Ranger, as opposed to the Hilux’s 478 units, nearly 4.5 times more.
Despite not being able to beat the Ranger in Vietnam, the Hilux saw a 90.3% sales growth (from 987 units to 1,878 units), when comparing sales performance between the first half of 2020 and the first half of 2021. The Ranger, on the other hand, only saw a 54.8% growth (from 4,464 units to 6,912 units) during the same period.
Although Indonesia is a Toyota-loving nation (the Innova, Avanza, and Fortuner continuously top the sales charts), the Hilux isn't part of that.
In the archipelago, the Mitsubishi Triton was the best-selling pick-up truck for the first half of 2021, with 4,234 units sold. As for the Hilux, it managed 3,605 units.
In June 2021 alone, the Mitsubishi Triton found 1,142 new homes, as opposed to the Hilux, which saw 654 units sold.
Mexico – Mexicans love Nissan
Now, let's go to the other end of the planet. While the Toyota Hilux is sold in selected North American countries like Mexico, the Hilux isn't quite the sales chart topper here.
Instead, the best-selling pick-up truck in Mexico is the Nissan NP300. Not to be confused with the Navara NP300 we’re used to in Malaysia, the Mexican-spec NP300 is strictly a single-cab, commercial pick-up truck. The passenger version is called the Frontier NP300.
Last year, Nissan Mexico sold 44,577 units of the NP300 – a massive gap from the Hilux’s 13,666 units.
Brazil – Where a unibody truck is king
Brazil is one of the few South American countries where the Toyota Hilux does not reign supreme. Instead, the best-selling pick-up truck title goes to the Fiat Toro – a unibody pick-up truck that is built in Brazil and sold in Latin American countries.
Fiat sold a whopping 53,974 units of the Toro in 2020 alone, ahead of the Hilux which managed 32,394 units.
The Fiat Toro may continue its lead this year, as data from Brazil indicate that 34,089 units of the Toro were sold within the first six months of 2020, well ahead of the Toyota Hilux’s 19,236 units.
But, by taking the unibody Fiat Toro out of the equation, the Toyota Hilux is the best selling ladder frame truck in Brazil, outselling the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok.
Chile – Mitsubishi L200 conquers
Apart from Indonesia, Chile is another country where the Mitsubishi Triton is the sales champion.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Mitsubishi Motors Chile managed to sell 7,808 units of the Triton (sold in Chile as the L200), putting it ahead of the Hilux. The L200 secured a 17.3% market share last year.
As for the Toyota Hilux, a total of 5,972 units were sold last year, marking a 13.2% market share.
What about Europe?
Traditionally, pick-up trucks are not volume sellers in Europe. In the Old Continent, buyers generally get vans for their workhorse duties, instead of pick-up trucks.
According to data provided by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in the United Kingdom, the best-selling pick-up truck is none other than the Ford Ranger, with 13,097 units sold in 2020.
Over the past few years in Germany, the best-selling pick-up truck was often a two-horse race between the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok. However, Volkswagen has since discontinued the European market Amarok, which leaves the Ranger as one of the best-selling pic-up trucks there.
Should Toyota be worried?
Not really, no. While the Hilux may not be king in some of the countries we mentioned, it is still a sales leader in other countries.
In the south-most part of South America, Argentina, the Toyota Hilux outsold rivals such as the Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger, and Fiat Toro. In fact, in the case of Chile, despite losing its top spot to the L200 in 2020, the Hilux is on track to regain its position, as it was the best-selling pick-up truck for the first half of the year.
Earlier this year, Ford announced that the Ranger was the best-selling pick-up truck in the Philippines, with 9,767 units sold. However, data from Toyota showed that they sold 13,637 units of the Hilux last year, thus cementing its lead ahead of the Blue Oval.
Furthermore, in countries that traditionally have had a soft spot for pick-up trucks, like Australia (ute) and South Africa (bakkie), the Toyota Hilux is still king.