Toyota SA Motors (TSAM) faced extensive damage at its Prospecton, Durban, plant. The KZN floods have hampered the completion of orders for Hilux, Fortuner, Corolla Cross and Quest vehicles.
Locally built vehicles are impacted but imported cars are not
While the delivery of locally built vehicles will be impacted in the short term, plans have been put into place to fast track existing orders.TSAM Senior Vice-President Leon Theron has thanked customers for their patience. He explained that orders of import models will continue as normal.
“We really appreciate the patience exhibited by our customers — yes, Hilux, Fortuner, Corolla Cross and Quest orders are going to take little longer, but please be assured that they will be filled the moment our new supply kicks in. As far as imported models go, it’s business as usual. In fact, we have requested extra units to compensate for the temporary lack of availability on locally built models,”
Leon Theron, TSAM Senior Vice-President.
Toyota SA Motors has a phased approach to returning to business
Toyota SA Motors says it is implementing a systematic and meticulous phased plan to return its Prospecton-based plant. They are planning to ensure a safe start-up that won’t cause any potential secondary issues.
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Theron explained that clean-up operations are ongoing in different areas at Toyota. He shared that there are three phases they are currently working on, they are as follows:
- The establishment of temporary utilities at the plant,
- Cleaning up and;
- Power up the machinery.
After the power-up stage, these areas of the facility will be able to move forth with phase 4. This involves an accurate assessment and equipment check, Theron explained.
President speaks about the large number of repairs that need to be completed
President and CEO Andrew Kirby explained that after phase 4, they will be able to adequately analyse the realistic lead time to resume vehicle production at the plant. He added that there is a “mountain of repairs” that need to be made.
Various vehicle parts need to be ordered as well.
“It would therefore be irresponsible of us to call a start-up date until we have the full picture. We anticipate firming updates within the next week,” said Kirby.
According to TimesLIVE, over 50 maintenance and engineering experts are at the plant and more are expected to arrive next week.