Fortuner, Hilux prices cut

A price realignment that seems to have been in effect for the Fortuner since late last year has now become permanent.

FIVE months on from airing intent to reduce the price of its Fortuner sports wagon, Toyota New Zealand has made good on that vow – but is now citing additional reasons beyond competitive pressure.

The price realignment for Fortuner sees some variants losing $10,000 off the original full recommended retails. In addition, the Palmerston North distributor has trimmed up to $4000 from the Hilux RRP.

The revisions were announced on April 1 and came into effect on that day.

TNZ first shared its thought about the need to reset Fortuner stickers in a MotoringNetwork story published on November 14, 2016.

Back then it acknowledged the Hilux-based seven-seater was already subject to a special pricing campaign that was slashing up to $10,000 from recommended retails ranging from $70,090 to $78,990.

The effort, the brand suggested then, was as result of it having recognised that the model was not looking good when measured against two then emergent rivals, the Ford Everest and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

General manager of sales Steve Prangnell said then it was apparent the launch stickers that effected when the model came along in February, 2016, were too high for the market condition. “We got the price wrong. There’s no doubt we got it wrong.”

He said TNZ wanted to make the price cut permanent, but added that this would require special permission from Toyota Japan.

That appears to have now been finally granted, however in comment provided at the weekend Prangnell was also attributing the change to other factors beyond pressure from the competition.

A release from TNZ cites him saying that the significant growth in sports utility and light truck sales, coupled with favourable exchange rates, provided the impetus for trimming the stickers.

“Our dollar has strengthened against the Yen by about 7.6 percent already this year so we find ourselves in the fortunate position of being able to pass those gains on to customers,” he said.

In respect to the talks with head office, he offered: “We are constantly evaluating the market and negotiating hard with Toyota Motor Corporation for benefit of our customers.

In addition to the reposition, TNZ has announced a reprise of the Edge package it last used in 2014, for the run-out of the previous generation Hilux.

Tailored for SR level rear-drive Prerunner and four-wheel-drive editions, the pack adds a black bonnet stripe, black fender flares and the 17 inch alloys from the SR5. Pricing spans from $37,990 (Prerunner manual) to $48,990 (4wd automatic).