A Toyota executive from Australia says “strong competition” for the refreshed Hilux means the Japanese firm won’t rest on its laurels.

Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice-president of sales and marketing, acknowledged to motoring.com.au the updated bakkie would face increased competition in the coming months and years.

“It’s healthy to have strong competition. Hilux has always performed extremely well. But we never take leadership in that segment for granted,” said Hanley, referencing the fact the bakkie is the best-selling vehicle in Australia (as it is in South Africa).

“It’s always been a really tough segment to win over many years, and the competition has only got tougher in the last few years,” he added.

Hanley said he was “excited” to introduce an updated model he described as “greatly improved”.

While the refreshed Hilux is scheduled to hit the market Down Under in August, Toyota South Africa Motors said in June the local launch was “still some months away”.

As a reminder, the updated version of the popular bakkie sports a fresh look and more grunt from its 2,8-litre turbodiesel heart. Other upgrades include a revised suspension setup and the adoption of a larger touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.