Corolla Cross is coming!
The secret’s out!
Corolla Cross is coming!
The secret’s out! Toyota South Africa Motors has officially announced that the all-new Toyota Corolla Cross will be built locally in the Prospecton factory, and that production will begin at a later stage in 2021. In 2019 TSAM announced that it would be investing R1.43 billion in the Prospecton plant for the production of an unannounced new model, and TSAM President and CEO Andrew Kirby gave a name to that model at the annual State of the Motor Industry (SOMI) address.
“We will be manufacturing this very model [Corolla Cross] in both right- and left-hand drive…on schedule...for South Africa and the rest of Africa… right here at Prospecton! The Corolla Cross is based on the acclaimed new Corolla TNGA platform and will be built on our passenger car production line alongside the Corolla Quest,” says Kirby.
The production of the Corolla Cross will be the very first time that Toyota will be manufacturing a hybrid model in South Africa. “And it’s the first time for us to manufacture using the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) – which allows us to keep up with global technology and trends,” says TSAM’s Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and Manufacturing Support Group, Nigel Ward.
The fact that TSAM has been able to announce this new project on schedule is a massive accomplishment considering the impact that COVID-19 has had on the world. From a skills and manufacturing point of view, TSAM believes that – besides being a crisis of unparalleled proportions – COVID- 19 has inadvertently encouraged plant production teams to be more self-reliant. According to Ward: “Restriction on international travel due to COVID-19 necessitated that we rely on local expertise on many elements of the project instead of flying in engineers from Japan and Thailand. So, to ensure that we are on schedule to commence production in October, we have had to do a lot of things ourselves, in addition to receiving support virtually from Japan and Thailand on some occasions.
The Corolla Cross will be exported to 43 countries in Africa and is expected to push Toyota export volumes to about 15 – 20% per annum. In addition, the production of the Corolla Cross is expected to generate more than 500 jobs at the Prospecton plant and another 1000 in the local automotive manufacturing chain.
According to Kirby: "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. It combines everything you love about Corolla with the utilitarian and rugged aesthetics of a segment-leading SUV. Overall, expectation is that the Corolla Cross will not only contribute significant sales towards the Toyota brand, but also accelerate growth in the mini-SUV segment, increase overall size of the passenger market in South Africa and give momentum to electrification technologies.”
More details, including specification and pricing, will be released when the car is launched in the fourth quarter of 2021.