Toyota South Africa Motors’ involvement in the 2013 Dakar Rally in South America in January will be backed by a comprehensive marketing communications programme designed to involve South Africans from all walks of life in the motor company’s attempt to win the world’s longest and toughest motor race.

Dakar Rally Toyota Hilux

Toyota’s success at its first attempt at the Dakar Rally in January this year, when South African-built Toyota Hilux bakkies finished third, fifth and 10th overall, resulted in a commitment to compete in the iconic motor racing marathon for the next three years with the objective of winning the race in that period.

Two racing versions of the Toyota Hilux Double Cab, built by Toyota Motorsport in its workshops near Kyalami and backed by Imperial Toyota, Duxbury Netgear, SAA, Innovation Group and Toyota Financial Services, will contest the 2013 Dakar Rally from January 5 to 20 in Peru, Argentina and Chile as Toyota Imperial SA.  They will be crewed by 2009 Dakar winners Giniel de Villiers and German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz, who finished third in the 2012 event, and South African off road championship leaders Duncan Vos and Rob Howie, who finished 10th this year.

Digital communications will support the marketing communications campaign, which kicked off at the beginning of October with a link to going live.  Print and television advertisements featuring the 2013 racing Toyota Hilux that will carry the hopes of all South Africans will follow in November and December and will be supported by point-of-sale posters and banners in Toyota dealerships around the country as well as outdoor advertising.

The Toyota Dakar website will allow South Africans to become a part of the Toyota Imperial South Africa team through allowing users to get close to the team experience and through providing exclusive content to “Join the Team”.

The site will also give the public the opportunity to enter a Dakar competition which offers a brand new Toyota Hilux double-cab as a prize.

An update to the website will go live in the third week of October and will feature the launch of the new Dakar livery and a road to Dakar journal

A further update in mid-November will include content from testing the team will undertake before the two Hilux bakkies are flown by SAA to South America in mid-December.

During the race itself, from January 5 to 20, the site will feature exclusive content from the Dakar.

Social media and online will work closely together giving users the opportunity to ask the Dakar team questions over social media.

“The Toyota Hilux is an iconic South African vehicle.  The Dakar allows us to demonstrate how tough the Hilux is and to show why it’s been a top seller throughout its more than 40 years of existence,” said Pieter Klerck, Toyota South Africa Motors’ senior manager for advertising.

Toyota Motorsport Acknowledges Its Dakar Sponsors, Specialist Official Suppliers and Technical Partners

Toyota, Imperial Toyota, Duxbury Netgear, SAA, Innovation Group, Toyota Financial Services, TFM, 4×4 Mega World, Blue Sky, Castrol, NGK, SKF,  Spanjaard, Edgecam, Mastercraft, Donaldson and Oakley.