Toyota could lose 45 000 vehicles at Durban plant due to flood impact

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It will take some time for the main lines – such as Hilux, Fortuner, Hiace and Corolla Cross as well as Corolla Quest – to reopen.
It will take some time for the main lines – such as Hilux, Fortuner, Hiace and Corolla Cross as well as Corolla Quest – to reopen.
MISA (Motor Industry Staff Association)

Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) will likely end up losing around 45 000 units in production due to the impact recent flood damage at its manufacturing plant south of Durban.

All the vehicles that incurred damaged will be scrapped and crushed so that no potentially compromised Toyotas will ever make it into the retail chain. About 12% of the 4 596 units on site had no damage at all and can be sold.

According to CEO Andrew Kirby, the impact of the flooding has been a tremendous setback for the company.

"But we have extensive insurance coverage and are also fortunate that our parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is supporting with all the cashflow challenges that we are likely to encounter," Kirby said in a statement on Tuesday. 

At the same time, Kirby sees a "silver lining" after being forced to cease operations at the plant when flooding caused extensive damage to the facility a month ago. A systematic phased plan is being implemented to return the Prospecton facility to working condition. 

"TSAM is pleased to announce that it has resumed operations of its export line of Catalyc Convertors and will – in the next few days – open the Hino assembly line," said Kirby. 

It will, however, take some time for the main lines – such as Hilux, Fortuner, HiAce and Corolla Cross as well as Corolla Quest – to reopen. 

"We've been through the process of cleaning, drying and flushing. And now, we are checking all of our equipment - repairing, powering up the control panels and having to order replacement parts where necessary. We are at a point where it's not easy to predict when we would be able to start-up," said Kirby. 

During the recent flods, the facility's flood-protection measures were effective up to a point and will be reinstated and enhanced even further.

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