The Toyota HiAce (previously badged Quantum) local production plant will be receiving an injection of funds to extend its production life-cycle. This is an injection that strengthens the MPV’s 42 year history in South Africa.
The plant in Prospecton, Durban will undergo a R454 million investment to improve the efficiency of production. This comes after a R74 million investment in 2012 and R505 million in 2015; all of which comes to a total of R1,033 billion. This revamp will introduce 13 Kawasaki-sourced robots to improve the efficiency of production; a first for the Prospecton plant.
In addition to this, the HiAce parts will now be locally manufactured in Johannesburg. This decreases the amount of imported parts by 17 per HiAce. Executive Officer Toyota Corporation Toshimitsu Imai says “[The HiAce] is important for South Africa. We must produce it in South Africa”.
The result of this investment is part of the “Enhanced Local Content” programme and aims to provide a R90 million annual turnover and localise R420 million a year. Additionally, this creates 80 new jobs for locals within Toyota South Africa. 80 000 units are planned to be assembled.
Toyota South Africa Motors President and CEO Andrew Kirby says that the Japanese brand is “proud to be part of taxi industry”; an industry that currently employs 600 000 people.