Toyota SA invests R363m in Gauteng

Toyota SA has confirmed a major investment in Gauteng.

Toyota SA has confirmed a major investment in Gauteng.

Published Jan 18, 2011


Toyota South Africa Motors plans to invest R363-million in a new parts distribution warehouse in Ekurhuleni, its largest investment in Gauteng.

The investment follows and will support Toyota SA’s R8 billion investment over the past five years in its manufacturing plant in Prospecton, in Durban.

It is already being developed on a site close to the freight terminal at OR Tambo International Airport and close to major road arteries. It will be built in two phases, eventually providing a total of 80 000m2 of warehousing space to serve Toyota SA’s local and export markets.

Johan van Zyl, Toyota SA’s president and chief executive, said yesterday the investment in the centre emphasised Toyota’s commitment to South Africa as a manufacturing hub in its global supply chain.

“Toyota SA will remain an integral member of Toyota Motor Corporation and will continue to produce vehicles in South Africa.

“The government, through the Department of Trade and Industry and the Automotive Production and Development Programme, has created a stable and predictable environment in which we as manufacturers can make investments such as this,” he said.

Tony Twine, a motor industry analyst and director of Econometrix, said parts warehouse activities by vehicle manufacturers had less to do with current levels of new vehicles sales and a lot more to do with the volume in the vehicle parc, or the vehicles in use on the country’s roads.

Twine said that as the market leader in South Africa for 30 years, Toyota’s vehicle parc was bigger than any of the other vehicle brands and the expansion of its aftermarket division was a natural consequence of this.

The first phase of the centre will provide almost 40 000m2 of warehouse space plus 3 000m2 of office space. The site allows for the development of a further 38 000m2 of warehouse space in a second phase. Toyota SA’s current parts distribution centre is 22 000m2 in area.

Van Zyl said a total of more than 800 people would work at the centre, of which more than 650 people would be involved in the management, picking and distribution of parts.

Leo Kok, a Toyota SA spokesman, said it was projected that current staff would be able to manage the workload when the first stage opened and no new jobs would be created. However, he said new jobs would definitely be created when the centre was expanded in the second phase.

Van Zyl said the timing for the second phase depended on the growth in the new vehicle market but he believed Toyota SA would have to make a decision by 2015.

More than 440 people will be employed to assist with the construction of the first phase of the new facility. - Business Report

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