Toyota is to enter the light van market with a model based on the PSA platform in Vigo, Spain that already produces the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo.
The new van, which Toyota has not yet named, will make its debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show in April before going on sale towards the end of 2019 with the same powertrains as the PSA vans.
“Toyota has never had a van this small, it’s a new market segment [for the brand],” a spokesman told What Van?
He added that the manufacturer’s UK LCV boss Gareth Matthews, would focus on training staff at its network of around 50 Business Centres on how to sell the light van, which will be aimed at SMEs predominantly.
PSA and Toyota Motor Europe first collaborated in 2012 on the Proace medium van, which is based on the Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert and made at PSA’s plant in Hordain, France.
Toyota says the partnership enables both companies to benefit from production cost savings and claims it will participate in the development and industrial investment costs of the forthcoming light van.
In 2018 Toyota sold 9,934 LCVs in the UK, up 4.1% on the previous year, consisting of 7,141 Hilux pick-up trucks and 2,270 Proace vans.
“Hilux is a very good foot in the door for customers,” said the spokesman, “it’s easier to sell the vans because of its name.”
He said the brand would also exhibit a flagship Hilux Invincible X at the CV Show sporting some “minor” changes to its exterior styling.
While Toyota is well known for its hybrid passenger cars, such as the Prius, the spokesman said there were no plans to introduce a hybrid LCV as the Hilux uses diesel engines and the vans take their drivetrains from PSA.