South African-made Toyota Corollas Head to Europe

by : Kaye Leery

The South African subsidiary of motor company Toyota is expected to export its locally produced Toyota Corollas from Durban to Europe starting next year. This is a move set to build up the economy of KwaZulu-Natal.

The decision was taken after a meeting on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan between the provincial government and Toyota representatives.

The vice chairperson of Toyota Motor Corporation, Katsuhiro Nakagawa said that Toyota South Africa would produce Corollas specifically to be exported to Europe. The statement was made at the meeting with KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele.

In his statement, Mr. Nakagawa announced that almost 50 engineers had already been sent to South Africa to help with the manufacturing of the vehicles. He said that Toyota is determined to produce more vehicles in South Africa for exportation to other countries which is vital for South Africa's economy.

Furthermore, he said that they also wanted an increased presence in Japanese automotive parts suppliers in South Africa since the country was considered to be the gateway to the rest of the continent. According to him, they want to make their South African plant more competitive compared to Toyota plants in other countries.

He acknowledged that the training of workers would be necessary to achieve, in a bid to ensure the competitiveness of their South African plant. He uttered that if they train more workers, more automotive parts supplier companies will go to South Africa.

He also explained that they planned to put up a Toyota Training School in South Africa, which would benefit the company's employees and create a much needed skills base for growth.

The production of the latest model of the Toyota Corolla in South Africa is well in process and will be launched in August this year.

In his speech, Mr. Nakagawa further said that they are trying hard to introduce new models of Toyota to be produced is South Africa as well.

Premier Ndebele appreciated the assurance shown by the company to South Africa, particularly to KwaZulu-Natal. He said that they appreciate the new investment of more than R4 billion at the plant at Prospecton in Durban. But he would also like to see Toyota producing other automotive components in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mr. Ndebele said that they would welcome and highly appreciate the development of an Automotive Supplier Park in the province as it is important to accelerate training of the current and future workforce.

He added that training is needed all the time for the market elsewhere.

Toyota Motor Corporation is the world's leading automaker. Maker of quality , the car company has held its reputation as an excellent manufacturer since its first year of existence.