Toyota South Africa (Toyota SA) on Monday announced a 363 million rand investment in a new parts distribution warehouse in the Ekurhuleni municipal area.

The new warehouse, which will employ 800 workers, will house more than 110,000 different parts and components. It will serve Toyota SA's 223 local and 70 export delivery points.

Johan van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota SA and managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation, said in a statement the new warehouse represented the largest single investment by Toyota SA in the Gauteng province and it followed a five-year 8 billion rand investment programme in its manufacturing facilities in Prospecton, Durban.

Upon completion the new facility will cover 80,000m2 and it will be the largest of its kind in Africa.

“In making this a reality we believe that the government, through the actions of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) has created a stable and predictable environment in which we as manufacturers can make investments such as the one that we are announcing today,” Van Zyl said.

“Toyota South Africa will remain an integral member of Toyota Motor Corporation and will continue to produce vehicles in South Africa,” he said.

“The development of a distribution warehouse of this size and scale is one of the clearest signs that we are committed to South Africa and intent on remaining South Africa's most popular vehicle manufacturer,” Van Zyl added.

The warehouse is being developed in two phases.

The first phase of the new warehouse will open in May 2012 with the first round of daily deliveries to the more than 220 Toyota, Lexus and Hino dealerships in Southern Africa.

This phase will feature 39,000m2 of warehouse space and 3,000m2 of office space.

The second phase will include a further 38,000m2 of warehouse space and is scheduled for completion by or before 2015. - I-Net Bridge