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.