The next generation of the world’s and South Africa’s best-selling four-door sedan – the Toyota Corolla – was revealed last week, with Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) on Monday confirming that the passenger vehicle would be manufactured at the company’s Durban plant.
Current production at the TSAM plant included the Hilux bakkie, the Fortuner sports utility vehicle and the current generation Corolla, for the local and export markets.
Capacity at the plant is 220 000 units a year.
TSAM did not yet want to confirm whether the new Corolla model would again be produced for the export market.
Japanese newspapers speculated in 2010 that TSAM would cease Corolla production to become a plant dedicated to pick-up and sports-utility vehicle production for emerging markets.
On Friday a Corolla sedan exhibiting the more sedate European style was unveiled in Istanbul, Turkey, while another version, with a markedly different front design, debuted more than 10 000 km away in California, in the US.
The two cars retained key styling cues from the Corolla Furia concept car shown at the Detroit auto show in January.
TSAM product planning GM Lettie Labuschagne on Friday confirmed that the European car was visually very similar to the model that would be launched in South Africa early in 2014, while the alternative model was targeted mainly at buyers in the US.
“Toyota has spent decades refining and improving the Corolla, whilst staying true to its core values, which is the reason why it’s still SA’s most loved sedan,” said Labuschagne.
“With better styling, enhanced dynamics and even more interior space, the 2014 Corolla promises to be the best model yet. That is no small feat considering that its history goes back more than 47 years.”
Worldwide Corolla sales have exceeded 39.7-million units since the nameplate was launched in 1966, including nearly one-million customers in South Africa.
The new sedan was the eleventh generation Corolla.
It would be sold in more than 150 countries across the globe.