Toyota South Africa has announced they will manufacture and sell the new Corolla Cross in South Africa from the fourth quarter of 2021.
This follows the announcement made by the company in 2019, which stated they will invest R2.43 billion in the production of a new passenger vehicle in the country.
This new derivative of the Corolla will be based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, and will be locally built alongside the Corolla Quest.
The Corolla Cross will be manufactured at the Toyota Prospecton plant in Durban, South Africa.
This will be the first model assembled at the plant which utilizes a hybrid powertrain – as well as being the first local model that is based on the TNGA platform.
The Toyota South Africa team added that – due to the pandemic – they were not able to fly in engineers from other countries which would support them through this transition, and instead they had to rely on local expertise and virtual assistance from company headquarters in Japan.
The company has yet to divulge any release date or pricing for the Corolla Cross, but have stated it would be built upon the legacy of Hilux toughness.
It will be assembled in both left and right-hand drive, and it will be exported to 43 African countries.
With this new vehicle, Toyota is projecting growth of 7% per year in the African SUV market – and that local export volumes for the brand will rise by 15%-20% annually.
Due to this projected increase, production of the Corolla Cross is expected to generate around R2.85 billion a year in local component purchases, as well as create an additional 1,500 job opportunities throughout the automotive supply chain.
“This is an ideal vehicle for our market. It provides an exceptional balance between drivability, roominess, comfort and high-tech features – truly a game-changing SUV,” said Andrew Kirby, president and CEO of Toyota South Africa.
Toyota concluded that a comprehensive specification and pricing list will be released when the car launches later in the year.