Ru­ral fo­cus

NZ4WD - - TESTED -

So it’s not just me! At the lo­cal ‘re­launch’ of the LC 70, Toy­ota New Zealand sales & mar­ket­ing man­ager Steve Prangnell con­firmed that as far as buy­ers go here, the sin­gle big­gest LC 70 ‘user group’ is ‘ those as­so­ci­ated with the ru­ral sec­tor.’

“Farm­ers, fencers, weed-sprayers, builders, con­trac­tors, when Ki­wis need a tough ve­hi­cle, LC 70 is the go-to ma­chine,” he said.

That said, the big­gest ‘sin­gle cus­tomer’ is min­ing com­pany Solid En­ergy, the state-owned coal min­ing com­pany with mines in the Waikato, on the West Coast and in South­land.

The county’s big­gest gold miner, Ocea­nia Gold, also buys LC 70s in bulk, for use at its Macraes’ op­er­a­tion in East Otago, Reefton on the West Coast, and Waihi in the North Island.

To­gether the two com­pa­nies

cur­rently have over 120 LC 70s on their books, mean­ing if you are af­ter a sec­ond-hand one in years to come you know where to look!

Toy­ota NZ has been sell­ing LC 70s since 1984 but sep­a­rate model fig­ures are only avail­able from 1990.

In that time com­pany deal­ers have sold over 3000 with 2015 the best year to date ( 257).

LC 70s are built in Toy­ota’s Yoshi­wara plant at Toy­ota City in Ja­pan’s Aichi pre­fec­ture, a fac­tory which also pro­duces Lexus LX, LC200 and Coaster bus mod­els.

Al­most 14,000 LC 70s are pro­duced each and ev­ery month with over half shipped to the Mid­dle East. Aus­trala­sia com­prises the third big­gest mar­ket, with min­ing com­pa­nies in Aus­tralia mak­ing up the bulk of the num­bers ( 7495 in 2015 of which NZ’s con­tri­bu­tion was just 257).

Not sur­pris­ingly the big­gest sin­gle cus­tomer across the Tas­man is min­ing gi­ant BHP Bil­li­ton though there is also a siz­able pri­vate mar­ket for those seek­ing a rugged Out­back­ca­pable ve­hi­cle ex-show­room.

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