It’s hard to believe, but we’ve only been talking about Toyota’s Prospecton Plant for the most part of this year. In case you live under a rock and missed the news headlines back then, production at the plant was halted due to damages caused by floods in the facility.
There were more 4 000 vehicles damaged on site during the floods but the costliest damage was to the plant infrastructure itself – including robots and other machines.
Earlier today we took a quick trip to the company’s Durban based plant to see how clean-up efforts were going and where it might be going in terms of planning and getting fully operational. During the visit, Toyota SA wasted no time in announcing that the plant has resumed operations – at about seventy percent – and that it aims to reach the hundred percent mark by December.
Toyota’s Prospecton Plant produces Corolla Cross and Quest as well as segment leaders Hilux, Hiace Ses’fikile and Fortuner – while also assembling a variety of Hino commercial vehicles. All the other production lines have resumed production with the exception of Corolla Quest, which is due to commence on 17 August.
When asked about how the news of the floods were received by Toyota Headquarters, Andrew Kirby, President and CEO of TSAM said “We communicated with Japan (Toyota Motor Corporation) on the night of the 12th April; I very quickly got a message back of support and an offer from them to do whatever they could to help. They dispatched a lot of experts to support us, helping us to repair, identify, diagnose and replace and then communicating with suppliers all over the world to source replacement parts.”
“Despite these challenges, there was no impact at all to Toyota’s long-term future in South Africa. The commitment to rebuild this site has been incredible. We know that our recovery will not be smooth, but by next year we plan to be stronger and better than we were before.” Kirby concluded.
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