Toyota Kenya has unveiled a new 16-seater model of the Hiace van as it seeks to expand its market share in the public transport industry.
During its launch in Nyeri, Deputy Managing Director Arvinder Reel said that the new model dubbed “New Shark” will focus on financial efficiency for the owners and comfort for passengers.
The New Shark model’s longer and spacious body with a high roof ensures that the 16 seats give passengers a comfortable and luxurious travel.
Until now, most Toyota van matatus have been 14-seaters.
The additional seats also factor in on returns to owners, making the vehicle more profitable.
“This model will be friendlier to the owner by maximizing returns. We have also designed it to be more comfortable for the passengers, especially those travelling for long distances,” said Mr Reel.
With the new model, matatu owners can earn more money with fewer journeys, thanks to the additional seats.
The vehicle is equipped with fuel efficiency and fleet management system enabling owners to not only save on fuel but also monitor its fuel consumption.
“Its fuel consumption is 12 kilometres per litre which allows the owners to save more on fuel,” he added.
Besides comfort, Toyota has focused of the safety of passengers with the New Shark having additional safety installations like airbags and CCTV cameras.
Currently one unit of the new model is selling at Sh4.55 million which, according to Mr Reel, is a plus for those in the transport industry or those seeking to join it.
Toyota Kenya has been looking to dominate the PSV sector and the new model is just an addition to its Hino buses that have already captured a significant share of the market.
The company has already sold ten of the New Shark model which is assembled overseas.
However, Mr Reel said that the company will soon begin assembling the vehicle locally.