1m SA Corollas built, we look back

Time of article published Nov 26, 2013

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Just as Toyota's Prospecton plant gears up to launch the all-new, 11th generation Corolla early next year, the factory has reached a significant milestone as the one millionth South African-built Corolla rolled off the line recently.

This means that one in every forty Corollas ever produced have come from South Africa.

The local production milestone was no doubt aided by recent export contracts that saw the current generation being built in both left and right hand drive variants for export to Europe, the Caribbean and Africa.

Although the Corolla was first launched abroad in 1966, South Africa had to wait until the third-generation model commenced production at the Kwazulu-Natal plant in 1975. We clearly felt it was well worth that wait and the following two decades saw the sedan, along with its Conquest and Tazz variants, shoot right to the top of the sales charts.

Who will ever forget that sweet-revving 4AGE engine that found its way into numerous Corolla GLi and Conquest RSi models in late eighties and early nineties, not to mention the 20-valve motor that replaced it at the tail end of the century.

The Corolla and its hatchback spin-offs also attained big success in both circuit racing and rallying, with all ten of Serge Damseaux's national rally titles having been won in Corolla derivatives.

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