Toyota South Africa Motors and shipping lines K Line and NYK Line today celebrated the arrival of the first volume consignment of Toyota Etios in South Africa.
The arrival of several hundred Etios units at the automotive terminal of the Durban harbour follows just two weeks after Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM), the Indian affiliate of the global Toyota Motor Corporation, celebrated the first shipment of the Etios to South Africa.
TKM is set to become a major exporter of Etios vehicles with export volumes expected to exceed 20 000 units per year.
Speaking at the arrival ceremony Nigel Ward, Senior Vice President for the Manufacturing Support Group at Toyota South Africa Motors, highlighted the global nature of vehicle manufacturing and the role played by Toyota.
“Today’s event is further evidence of our role as a key manufacturing and export hub in the global Toyota Motor Corporation,” says Ward. “Through our major export contracts of Hilux, Fortuner and Corolla vehicles to 57 countries across the world, we are able gain significant economies of scale and ensure optimal quality. This has ensured our position as a key manufacturing hub in the global Toyota Motor Corporation’s operations and enabled us to take advantage of the volume manufacturing of Toyota affiliates in other parts of the world.”
The Etios is a highly anticipated addition to the South African automotive market as it signifies Toyota’s entry in the fast growing sub-B segment. The new model will be offered with a powerful 1.5 litre petrol engine and the choice of hatch back or sedan body style.
According to Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing at Toyota South Africa Motors the new Etios will bolster Toyota’s line-up in the entry-level segment. “The Etios will complete our entry-level line-up and will be sold alongside A- and B-segment offerings in the form of the Toyota Aygo and Toyota Yaris. Both these models are already major volume sellers in their segments, while we believe that the Etios’s combination of space, value for money and specifications will soon make it a favourite in the sub-B segment.”
The Toyota Etios is scheduled for full local introduction in May 2012.