TANZANIA TIMES
The Times of Tanzania

Tanzania May soon stop using Toyota SUVs for Government and Public Institutions

Cumbersome and Costly Procurement Processes and the fact that 4WDs are no longer Mandatory, The Love story between Tanzania and Toyota SUVs is ending

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The Government of Tanzania is reconsidering its dependency on vehicles from the giant Japanese Automaker, Toyota.

As it happens, the Toyota Motors of Japan has been the sole supplier of vehicles to the Tanzania Government and its institutions.

However that this may soon screech into a halt.

Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa on addressing the country’s officials in charge of public procurement, during an event in Arusha, expressed concern over cumbersome processes involved in the importation of such state vehicles from Japan.

Premier Kassim Majaliwa

From these latest developments, it seems the Tanzanian Government contemplates reducing, if not totally cease, its dependency on Toyota Cars, due to series of incommodious procurement processes involved in importing the vehicles from the Japanese giant.

The Premier pointed out that in most cases the cars never arrive in time and when they do, they get delivered in trickling instalments.

“I am not sure what the problem is, or who could be behind the delays, but it is also high time we stopped depending on cars from a single company, for all these years, over 90 percent of the Government cars have always been procured from Toyota.”

Kassim Majaliwa – The Prime Minister of Tanzania

PM Majaliwa gave an ultimatum, either the government started buying cars straight from the manufacturers, eliminating the middlemen, who keeps bloating prices for own gain, or drop the Toyota brand altogether.

As far as the premier is concerned, there are many other reputable car brands producing even better performing vehicles, thus it is high time the state considered alternative companies.

“And if the issue is vehicles that can withstand all terrains, then at the moment almost all major roads connecting Regions and Districts are paved, eliminating the need for Four-Wheel-Driven vehicles,” Prime Minister Majaliwa maintained.

The Premier was addressing cases of Graft surrounding state procurements when launching the National Public Procurement week.

The event held at the Simba Plenary Hall of the Arusha International Conference Center, was organized by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and attended by more than 1000 delegates.

For over 25 years now, Toyota vehicles have been wheeling Tanzanian Government officials, from Presidents, Ministers, Heads of Institutions, Regional and District Commissioners, Parliamentarians and Party Leaders.

Toyota Marques, dotting the leadership corridors and state driveways range from the high-end Land-Cruiser Series 200 (300), VX, Series 100; Series 70 Hardtops (Troop Carriers), with their pick-up alter-egos, and Series 70 Wagons (LX), all the way to Prados.

In between the series, the Government has been buying Hilux trucks, Coaster Minibuses and Hiace vans all from Toyota.

Land-cruiser SUVs are usually used for off-roading (Photo by Marc Nkwame)

After independence in 1961, it was the British made, Landrovers that formed the wheels of the Tanzanian Government.

Germany machines from Daimler, the Mercedes Benzes complimented the fleets on luxury end.

From mid-eighties, the country’s automobile focus shifted to Japan with Mitsubishi Pajero forming the leadership wagons’ fleet.

The Pajeros slowly gave way to Toyota, precisely the Land-Cruiser models. Toyota Land-Cruisers have also been popular in tourism circles.

The influence of Toyotas trickled down from the government circles to ordinary residents who found the Japanese vehicles to be more reliable and convenient for their needs.

A cart carrying the shell of a Toyota Landcruiser Wagon in Arusha Streets filled with other Toyota Cars (Photo by Marc Nkwame)

Out of every ten cars on Tanzanian roads eight are likely to be Toyotas.

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