Toyota Tsusho Starts SKD Production of Fortuner SUV in Kenya
Toyota Tsusho Corporation ("Toyota Tsusho") announced today that it started SKD* production of Toyota Motor Corporation ("Toyota")'s Fortuner SUV at the Mombasa Plant of Associated Vehicle Assemblers Ltd. ("AVA"), a vehicle production contractor in Kenya, on July 29, 2023 (Japan time).
* SKD: Semi-knockdown. A method of vehicle assembly that the welded and painted body is imported and the components parts are assembled with body and chassis, or its parts configuration.
Toyota Tsusho currently produces Toyota's Land Cruiser Pickup, Hilux, and Hiace at the AVA Mombasa Plant. This new production of Fortuner is Toyota Tsusho's first SKD production of an SUV in Kenya, with production planned to be 350 units per year. Demand for SUV vehicles has been increasing in Kenya in recent years, and the market is expected to expand further in the future. Through this SKD production of Fortuner in Kenya, it will be possible to shorten the lead time for supply of the vehicles to customers in Kenya.
To mark the start of production, a production start-up ceremony was held at the plant in the presence of Kenyan President William Ruto; Moses Kuria, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry, Kenya; and Japanese Ambassador to Kenya, Ken Okaniwa.
Based on the "WITH AFRICA FOR AFRICA" philosophy, Toyota Tsusho seeks to grow with the people and communities of Africa, and aims to contribute to the further development of Kenya's automobile industry through the local production of Fortuner.
Toyota Demonstrates Hilux GR-S MHEV as a Realistic Option for Carbon Neutrality at the WRC Safari Rally 2023 in Kenya
Toyota Demonstrates Hilux GR-S MHEV as a Realistic Option for Carbon Neutrality
at the WRC Safari Rally 2023 in Kenya
Nairobi 22nd June 2023: – Toyota conducted a successful demo run of the Hilux MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle) concept model at Kasarani during the seventh round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in Kenya. The Hilux MHEV concept was driven by four-time WRC champion and former Toyota world title winner Juha Kankkunen from Finland, with co-driver Jimmi Gathu, a renowned local Kenyan media personality and actor. The company showcased its clear stance to deliver diverse vehicle ranges on its journey towards carbon neutrality.
After the demonstration, Juha Kankkunen said “I’m 100% sure that this type of car will fit in Africa very well because there are still long-distance drives and it's very difficult to charge electric cars. You can save fuel, which means less CO2. Africa is a good market for this kind of car, and you can make CO2 less with hybrid cars. That is the future. “
“I have had the pleasure of driving different models for the Toyota brand from Full-electric car, Hybrid and Hydrogen and can attest that these models are much faster than standard models.”, he said.
Jimmi Gathu excitingly gave his impression, saying “It was an amazing experience. It’s fantastic that Kenya’s most popular, most reliable, toughest car is being tested as a concept car for hybrid especially in addressing the issue around carbon emissions, beginning with small steps as you seek to achieve carbon neutrality I think it's perfect.”
Amb. Dennis Awori, who is a Country Delegate of CFAO Group in Kenya and Chairman of CFAO Kenya Toyota Tsusho Group emphasized the importance of bringing vehicle options such as the Hilux MHEV to Africa, where robust and versatile vehicles like the Hilux are highly popular. By reducing CO2 emissions in these vehicles, the impact on nature and the environment can be significantly reduced. Additionally, with limited BEV charging infrastructure in Africa, the Hilux MHEV offers a realistic and immediate option to reduce CO2 emissions.
<Toyota’s Global Direction and Africa Regional Direction>
In April, Toyota launched a new management structure led by new President Sato and issued the message "Let's change the future of the automobile". In particular, in the development and introduction of electric vehicles, the company emphasized that it would work on a multi-pathway approach, presenting various options that are fit for purpose to each region and market demand, under the policy of "leaving no one behind".
In Africa, Toyota's mission is to "mass-produce happiness", Toyota will continue to supply various mobility products supporting Africa’s lifelines, and Hilux is one of the main products within their range. Through this demonstration, Toyota has presented a new option for Carbon Neutrality in Africa.
Even in relatively well-developed regions of Africa, such as Kenya or even in South Africa, there are some areas where electricity supply is unstable. In these areas, if it takes time to solve issues such as stable electricity supply, development of charging networks and securing resources, Mild HEVs are an important option for immediate CO2 reduction. They do not require new equipment or power supply, can use existing petrol stations as it is, and can reduce CO2 emissions.
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TOYOTA TSUSHO CORPORATION, WFP AND PARTNERS BRING FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND TRANSPORT TRAINING CENTRE TO WEST AFRICA
Toyota Tsusho Corporation is partnering with other global corporations and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to build a world-class Transport Training Centre in Accra, Ghana, aimed at enhancing transport and logistics capacities across West Africa. The centre will inject new expertise into local transport markets, equipping them to deliver life-saving goods like food and medicine more efficiently throughout the region.
Bringing together other leading players in the sector, such as Carrier, Renault Trucks, the Government of Ghana and WFP will set up a first-of-its-kind centre which will offer free online and hands-on training to up to 400 people per year. Training will be provided on best practices in road transport, fleet management and the safe transport of temperature-sensitive commodities. Trainees will include staff from humanitarian organizations, governments and the local private sector.
"Over the last couple of years, we've seen how important strong and resilient supply chains are - and this training centre is a critical step towards building stronger supply chains in West Africa," said Alex Marianelli, WFP's Director of Supply Chain. "WFP has a long history in West Africa and we're excited to share our knowledge and experience and - through our partners - provide access to the latest knowledge from leading experts."
Increased local capacities and expertise in supply chain will, in turn, support WFP's emergency and resilience-building operations in vulnerable communities across West Africa.
Construction of the centre is expected to commence later this year with the financial support of the Government of Japan, on land donated by the Government of Ghana as part of the existing WFP United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot operations.
Through the centre, partners and stakeholders aim to address the challenges hindering the development of the transport sector across West Africa, including lack of training opportunities and limited technical know-how.
Toyota Tsusho will be collaborating with Toyota Ghana Company Limited, Toyota's authorized distributor in Ghana, to conduct training on vehicle maintenance and will provide equipment, tools, and parts for on-site training and e-learning materials for online training. Ahead of the training centre's establishment, a ceremony was held for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between WFP and Toyota Tsusho at Tokyo Kaikan on July 11, 2022.
Under the philosophy of "WITH AFRICA FOR AFRICA," which aims to grow together with people and society of Africa, the Toyota Tsusho Group will contribute to the autonomous growth of the continent in ways unique to Toyota Tsusho through human resource development and value creation businesses for the future of Africa's children.
Signing of MOU
Left: WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley
Right: Toyota Tsusho’s Executive Vice President Toshimitsu Imai