Toyota SA warns of stock shortages




African News Agency


LAST month’s tragic floods in KwaZulu-Natal have left a trail of destruction that’s set to affect the local motor industry for quite some time. Apart from port-related disruptions, the flooding also forced Toyota to temporarily shut its local plant in Prospecton, south of Durban, following extensive damages to the facility. And while Toyota South Africa still managed to sell 8 952 vehicles in April, the company’s Sales and Marketing Vice President Leon Theron has warned of stock shortages in the months ahead. “We are anticipating stock challenges with regards to our locally-built models such as Hilux, Fortuner, Corolla Cross and Quest, Hiace Ses’fikile and some Hino models,” Theron said. The carmaker has not yet announced a timeline for reopening the plant, but TSAM CEO Andrew Kirby told Moneyweb that the company hoped to confirm dates within the coming week. According to the financial publication, the recommencing of production will need to take place in phases, which include cleaning up, establishing temporary utilities and powering up machinery. Further to that, numerous repairs needed to be made and parts ordered, Kirby said. Theron remarked that TSAM was grateful to the entire Toyota team and dealers across the country for their continued efforts over the past few weeks. “A big thank-you to our customers for being patient with us. Please be assured that every single one of your orders is receiving the attention it deserves. “We are a tough organisation, operating in a resilient nation – we will come back stronger.”