Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that complete knock-down (CKD) production of the “Fortuner” SUV began here today at a production facility of Saryarka AvtoProm LLP (SAP). This marks the start of production by Toyota in Central Asia*. Roughly 3,000 units will be produced annually, and SAP has hired an additional 100 employees.
A line-off ceremony held today at SAP’s plant 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 TMC were Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada and Senior Managing Officer Didier Leroy (concurrently president and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA, which coordinates Toyota’s operations in Europe).
At the ceremony, TMC Chairman Uchiyamada said: “I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all members of the government and everyone who has supported us in reaching this point. Together with the people of Kazakhstan, we will do our best to contribute to the advancement of the local automobile industry.”
SAP’s Kostanay plant is now the first production site for Toyota vehicles in Central Asia. Preparing for CKD production, which at the Kostanay plant includes welding, painting and assembly processes, involved approximately 20 highly qualified Toyota engineers and production experts, who provided technical and standards guidance to SAP on a long-term basis.
The Fortuner is a body-on-frame SUV and is well suited to Kazakhstan’s unique climate and multitude of challenging driving conditions. In addition to its proven off-road credentials, the Fortuner is also well suited to urban driving.
The start of production in Kazakhstan is part of Toyota’s ongoing efforts to achieve the goal of strengthening its business in emerging markets, as set out in the 2011 Toyota Global Vision. Recently, Toyota has begun localized production (particularly CKD/SKD production) in a number of countries and regions: production of the Fortuner began in Egypt in 2012, and assembly of the “Land Cruiser” SUV began in the Russian Far East in 2013. Through these and other efforts, Toyota hopes to exceed expectations and enrich lives around the world.