Toyota South Africa Motors has announced it will produce a “new passenger-car model” at its Prospecton plant after a fresh R2,43-billion investment.

Andrew Kirby, Toyota SA’s president and CEO, made the announcement at the State of the Motor Industry address at Kyalami, confirming production of the as-yet unspecified model would kick off in October 2021.

“The new passenger model will replace the Corolla [not Quest] production line, which is due to end in 2020,” the Japanese firm’s local arm said in a statement.

Toyota SA added the investment would include (“for the first time on the African continent”) the production of a Toyota hybrid synergy drive vehicle as a variant. A conventional petrol engine was also confirmed.

In total, the company said it would invest a cumulative amount of R4,28-billion between 2019 and 2021, covering the doubling in size of the parts distribution centre at Atlas Warehouse in Johannesburg (costing R365-million) as well as “various manufacturing projects” at the Durbans factory.

“With this investment, Toyota South Africa Motors is solidifying its long-term commitment to local manufacturing as well as the South African automotive industry,” said Kirby.

“The investment will generate an additional R2,85-billion towards the South African economy per annum and approximately 1 500 new jobs,” he added.

Toyota SA also announced “substantial enhancements” to the local production of Hiace Ses’fikile (to the tune of R450-million) as well as this model's production volume increase (R91-million) from 14 000 to 18 000 units per annum. In addition, a packing plant to support the company’s knock-down business of Hilux in Kenya (R20-million) would be established.