Toyota SA invests R6,1 billion to build new models
Production of the longest-running vehicle model name on the South African market – Hilux – is set to get a boost as Toyota has invested more than R6,1 billion in its plant in Prospecton, Durban. The investment also includes the manufacture of the latest-generation Toyota Fortuna.
“This latest announcement gives evidence of a company that is committed to South Africa by strategically investing in the people, tools and equipment to produce cars and commercial vehicles of world-class standard, which are not only destined for the domestic market, but will also fly our flag high on the international stage thanks to a robust export plan,” says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO, Andrew Kirby.
This latest announcement represents the biggest single investment Toyota has made to date: R1,9 billion relates to supplier tooling, R1,4 billion to in-house tooling and the remaining amount to investment in in-house facilities and buildings to cater for new press machines.
Toyota’s component plant (sited across the road from the main plant) also had to undergo some major “facilitisation”. New facilities were installed for the manufacture of a variety of other in-house components. The previous Hilux and Fortuner models had about 1 500 local parts, and this number has swelled to 2 700 for the new models.
Toyota’s suppliers have also made substantial investments amounting to over R1,7 billion, while also attracting five new international suppliers; creating as many as 2 000 new jobs.
This has had a direct knock-on benefit for production capacity at the Prospecton plant, which has now increased from 120 000 to 140 000 units per annum. Hilux and Fortuner contribute a sizeable 80 percent of total production volume.
TSAM is the second-biggest global manufacturer of Hilux and Fortuner (behind Toyota Motors Thailand) and the only facility charged with building Hilux models that meet the new Euro-6 regulatory demands. Exports to 74 countries are forecast to be slightly more than 50 percent of TSAM’s total 2016 Hilux and Fortuner production.