Toyota Motor Corporation announced that complete knock-down production of the Fortuner SUV began at a production facility of Saryarka AvtoProm, marking the start of production by Toyota in Central Asia. Plans call for a production of approximately 3,000 units annually and the hiring of an additional 100 employees.
A line-off ceremony was attended by key representatives of Kazakhstan’s national government, including First Vice-Minister of Industry and New Technologies Albert Rau. The ceremony was also attended by Japanese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Masayoshi Kamohara, President of Allur Auto (the majority shareholder of SAP) Andrey Lavrentyev, and Toyota Tsusho Chairman Junzo Shimizu. Representing Toyota were Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada and Senior Managing Officer Didier Leroy (concurrently president and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe).
Senior Managing Officer Didier Leroy commented : ”We are thrilled to introduce the Toyota Fortuner in the Kazakh market. We have chosen to build this model locally as we are confident it meets the requirements of local customers in the best way.”
TMC established Toyota Motor Kazakhstan as a sales and marketing company in May 2008 to import and sell Toyota- and Lexus-brand vehicles as well as parts and accessories in Kazakhstan. SAP’s Kostanay plant is now the first production site for Toyota vehicles in Central Asia. Preparing for production, which at the Kostanay plant includes welding, painting and assembly processes, involved approximately 20highly qualified Toyota engineers and production experts, who provided technical and standards guidance to SAP on a long-term basis.