Tuesday, 13 October 2015

How did Toyota Hilux and Land Cruiser 70 become the terrorist favorite vehicles

Images like the one above is something we can relate to, we have seen it at a point, maybe on various news channels or even out of curiosity to see what they look like. Sure enough the videos might look grim and depressing, brandishing AK-47 assault rifles and missile launchers without a care in the world, I'm tempted to take a punt here and say that for most, the subconscious reaction is to develop superpowers and just throw a bomb in their midst to make them all disappear, that is definitely mine. 
But we motor heads at MN... Look at these videos and pictures and something entirely different jumps at us. The fact that Toyotas (in varying models) are used 99% of the time. 

A first generation Hilux already fashioned for a sinister purpose (source : business insider)

(Hey don't blame us if we don't share in the grimness of someone waving an assault rifle, heck we think that the purr of a v12 turbo charged engine sounds better than a lovers moan... #Justsaying.) anyways I digress. 
And as if we weren't the only one noticing this. Just couple of days ago, the U.S treasury department launched an inquiry as to how ISIS obtains the massive garage of Toyota hiluxes that they have. And why the Toyota happens to be the vehicle of choice

                                                    2009 Toyota Hilux (source: Reuters)
 Various officials have been giving various reasons why this is the case, an official even went as far as likening the car as the "vehicular equivalent of the AK-47" 
We at MN asked ourselves these question and different answers came to be; from its relative cost (compared to a Humvee or a Land Rover) to its durability (yeah, who remembers that top gear episode where the host bought a used hilux and subjected it to all sorts of Torture, afterwards all it took to get  he engine running again was a couple of spanners, hammers and wrenches... Not even spare parts was needed) the link to the videos is  here:
Someone said that maybe because it's fast, and easily maneuverable even when loaded with assault rifles on its cabin.

But the one that struck me was the fact that maybe because it's easily and readily available.. Toyota has become something like the de-facto manufacturer of choice for Nigeria and Nigerians. Like almost 1in every 4 cars that run on our roads are Toyotas .(don't question my stats go and form yours) but really. From government agencies to private companies. Staff pool cars are always Toyotas. (Why, you say? That'll be a topic for another day) 
Could this be testament to the fact that Toyotas are somewhat the best cars for our roads? That they're so efficient for all purposes even the not so honorable cause? Why Toyotas? 
Most importantly, how do these people get their hands on these cars? Smuggling? Theft? The fight against these terrorist groups can take various ways and is not something that would be won in a day. But how about trying to cut off the legs to limit movement? 
Well, we at Motoring Nigeria don't have all the answers to all the questions. We just try to see how  the engines run. 

 Photos from: Beegagle, 247ureports. Nairaland, Nigeriancurrent, iReporters

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