Toyota South Africa Motors has reaffirmed its commitment to the country as it officially opened its new parts distribution warehouse in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.The R363-million centre was built and equipped in 15 months and was designed to serve the company’s Southern African Toyota, Lexus and Hino dealer network with daily deliveries. INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENTJohan van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota SA Motors and a managing officer of global Toyota Motor Corporation said: “Today’s announcement signals the start of a new phase of investment and development for Toyota South Africa.” “After announcing our intention to develop this facility in January 2011 we have also announced the local assembly of our Ses’fikile taxi and future plans to significantly expand this initial R70-million investment. “These investments lay the foundation for a mid-term strategy that will further develop the local automotive industry as envisioned by the Automotive Production and Development Programme. It will also strengthen South Africa’s position as a global manufacturing hub with its ability to fully support any locally manufactured vehicle, regardless of its destination.”COMPLETE IN 2015 In the second phase Toyota will add a further 38 000m2 of warehouse space, making this facility the largest of its kind on the African continent. Until this second phase has been completed – expected in 2015 - the new facility will be supported by the company’s existing warehouse located in Sandton, Gauteng. Van Zyl added: “It is fortuitous that our new centre is opened on the eve of the introduction of the new Automotive Production and Development Programme. We believe this programme will create an environment in which Toyota and the automotive industry can further expand its operations, in turn benefitting the local component industry."