Toyota Kenya has resurrected the Starlet and now sells at Ksh. 1,980,000

Toyota Kenya yesterday unveiled the revived iconic compact car, the Starlet at a virtual event that was attended by a few people at their office headquarters in Nairobi. This classic badge engineering is a result of a collaboration made between Toyota and Suzuki Motor Corporation in March 2019 to allow the former to start the sales of the Starlet cars with the OEM supply from Suzuki, and there is completely not a single component of Toyota in the car except its insignia mounted on the v-shaped front grille and back.

“The new Starlet brings back nostalgic memories, that goes back to October 1973 when the first one came out and ever since it has been developed further and further. Today we have a historic moment for this return that we want to call the Star,” said Toyota Kenya Managing Director, Arvinder Reel.

“Over time the car appeared in a series of five generations, all spotting different engine capability transmission, body, and other unique features. What we are launching today still represents the values and traditions we hold too dear. The old new Toyota Starlet that makes a comeback is obviously more innovative as expansions across the globe make it a vehicle that goes beyond the expectations of many,” he added.

The Starlet, an entry model in Toyota’s lineup, offers a modern exterior design, spacious interior, and enhanced specifications. The exterior follows a classic hatchback profile, with a short, downward-sloping nose and rounded-off rear hatch. The side profile features contour-following upper and lower crease lines which creates a sense of motion while the prominent wheel arches give the Starlet a sure-footed stance with its rear design centers around the large LED tail lamps featuring a red and clear color scheme. These are joined by a trapezoidal indent in the lower bumper section. The overall result is a compact and striking design.

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The interior layout prioritizes spaciousness and ergonomics without compromising on flair. The center hang-down section neatly groups the ventilation, infotainment, and climate control switchgear. The Starlet is powered by a 1.4-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, the power outputs are 68kW @ 6000 rpm and 130Nm @ 4200 rpm with two transmission choices, a 5-speed manual, and 4-speed automatic, all driving the front wheels. The models come well equipped with safety and security equipment which include active electronic aids such as ABS, EBD, and Brake Assist (BA).

The Starlet will be sold at Ksh. 1,980,000 and comes at a time the prices of imported second-hand cars is likely to rise following a drop in manufacturing of the units in the leading market source of Japan, occasioned by a shortage in supply of spare parts and reduced industrial activities caused by the COVID-19, according to an article by the Star. Arvinder Reel said Toyota Kenya will continue to partner with financial institutions to enable more Kenyans to access affordable means of driving brand new vehicles, the recent being a strategic financing partnership with Co-operative Bank that allows customers up to 95% financing towards the acquisition of the vehicles, payable within 60-months.

In addition to the cooperation in sales of the Toyota Starlet, Toyota says it is engaging in further coordination with Suzuki as they seek to cement their partnership.  Earlier in 2019, all sales and marketing operations for Africa were transferred from Toyota Motor Corporation to Toyota Tsusho. It then initiated the sales of the Starlet in South Africa in mid-September of this year and has expanded to other countries targeting about 47 of them in the continent.

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The company is aiming to boost its sales and after-sales services for compact cars by leveraging Toyota brand sales channels throughout Africa in anticipation of the growth of the middle-class population in Africa in the near future. Moreover, in order to enhance sales of Toyota vehicles in the African market, Toyota Tsusho said it will continue to reinforce its relationship with Suzuki to offer high-quality and affordable compact cars and services to customers in Africa with the aim of contributing to the development of a mobility society in Africa.

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Enock Bett
Digital Media Enthusiast|Tech, Business, Corporate Affairs, Politics, and Governance. [No Modes]
EMAIL: [email protected]
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Enock Bett

Digital Media Enthusiast|Tech, Business, Corporate Affairs, Politics, and Governance. [No Modes] EMAIL: [email protected]

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