KZN production to restart for Toyota SA

Date:2 August 2022

The majority of product lines, including the Hilux, have now returned to production at Toyota’s Durban factory.

Toyota South Africa Motors has announced that production has resumed at its Prospecton plant in KwaZulu-Natal. Assembly had to be suspended there in mid-April 2022 because of significant flood damage.

Toyota’s passenger-car and light-commercial vehicle lines were suspended until just a few days ago, whereas Hino truck production resumed as early as May 23.

When the sluices of the overflowing Shongweni Dam were opened, a wall of water and silt poured down the river alongside the plant, causing significant damage to the Durban business. Toyota stated that it had undertaken “very time-consuming” work to remove the mud and fine silt from the numerous pieces of mechanical and electronic equipment in the various production locations.

Prospecton plant in Durban

In the last few days, the Prospecton facility resumed manufacturing of the Hilux, Fortuner, Corolla Cross, and Hi-Ace, though Toyota SA Motors told cars.co.za¬†that production was still “nowhere close” to reaching full capacity. Units would begin trickling through to dealerships in “any substantial quantities” only from mid- to late-August, with full production levels expected to be attained by September, according to the local division of the Japanese company.

Toyota SA Motors stated that manufacturing of the extended lifetime car would probably resume at some point in August, while the Corolla Quest plant is still idle.

Since new parts were not readily accessible, many of the factory’s functional parts were refurbished rather than replaced. The corporation claims that it has decided against imposing overtime weekend shifts and that, instead, weekends would be set aside for the replacement of these reconditioned parts as new components are supplied.

Toyota managed to maintain a significant lead over all challengers in the sales stakes in June 2022 despite not producing a single passenger car or light commercial vehicle. The 7 439 units it registered proved to be more than enough to keep the Volkswagen Group (5 627 units) in second and Suzuki (4 622 units) in third.

However, the Hilux was forced to settle for fourth position among South Africa’s best-selling bakkies in June 2022, trailing only the Ford Ranger (1 601 units), Isuzu D-Max (1 280 units), and Nissan NP200 in terms of sales (1 249 units). However, as of now, the Hilux is still well ahead, with a total of 15,992 units, more than doubling that of the Isuzu D-Max, which came in second (7 140 units).

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