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Toyota SA to invest over R4 billion in car assembly and parts
Toyota Motor Corp. employees work on the Crown vehicle production line at the company's Motomachi plant in Toyota City, Aichi, Japan, on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Toyota may stop importing some models into the U.S. if President Donald Trump raises vehicle tariffs, while other cars and trucks in showrooms will get more expensive, according to the automaker’s North American chief. Photographer: Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg

Toyota SA to invest over R4 billion in car assembly and parts

Toyota SA Motors (TSAM) has announced a R4.28bn investment in local vehicle assembly and parts supply.

Speaking at the company’s annual State Of the Motor Industry address at Kyalami on Thursday, president and CEO Andrew Kirby said the lion’s share of R2.43bn would go towards the production of a new passenger-car model from October 2021 at the Prospecton plant in KwaZulu-Natal.

The new car, which he did not name, will replace the Corolla model line that will end in 2020. TSAM also announced it will build a Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive vehicle, in a first for the continent.

Kirby said the investment will inject R2.85bn a year into the South African economy and create about 1,500 new jobs.

He noted that the deal was made possible due to industrial policy certainty in the form of the Automotive Production and Development Programme, the government’s incentive plan for the motor industry. The next phase of the APDP runs from 2021 to 2035.

TSAM has boosted the local economy with more than R12bn in manufacturing facilities, equipment updates and dealer operations in the past decade.

The latest investment includes a R454m enhancement to the local production of the Hiace Ses’fikile minibus, with a further R91m earmarked for increasing output of taxis from 14,000 to 18,000 units a year.

A further R20m is going towards the establishment of a packing plant to support TSAM’s Hilux knock-down assembly plant in Kenya. A sum of R365m will be spent to double the size of Toyota’s Atlas Warehouse in Gauteng’s East Rand, which when completed in 2021 is expected to be the southern hemisphere’s largest automotive parts warehouse.

TSAM also announced that the new Corolla Quest sedan would go on sale in SA in March. The car, based on the outgoing Corolla, will continue as a budget-orientated model selling alongside the new-generation Corolla which is being launched locally within weeks.