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Toyota back on track, opens massive R365m parts warehouse – largest in SA

Toyota has doubled the size of its parts warehouse in Johannesburg.
The facility is now the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
The new warehouse will serve all of sub-Saharan Africa with a steady supply of parts.


Toyota Motors has taken a hit in local sales and production since its Prospecton plan was halted earlier in April due to horrific flooding in KwaZulu-Natal. They have since been cleaning up and the factory is expected to reopen in early August, albeit with a smaller capacity, until it can be safely fully operational again.

But, business was largely business as usual, with the automaker still one of the top-selling automakers in the local market. Toyota has been at the top of the vehicle sales charts for many years in South Africa, and over the years their dealer network has grown to such an extent that there is now a dealership and workshop in every small town.

These dealerships all need parts to keep the large parking lot of Toyota, Lexus and Hino models on the road; for this they rely on the huge Toyota parts warehouse. The facility was opened in 2012 near OR Tambo International Airport and has grown from 40,000 m2 to 80,000 m2. This makes it the largest auto parts warehouse in the southern hemisphere. The investment reaffirms Toyota’s commitment to the economy and the automotive industry.

Toyota Parts Warehouse

“I am pleased to announce that the R365 million Atlas Parts Warehouse expansion, which began two years ago, is now complete,” said Andrew Kirby, President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), officially opening phase 2 of the company’s parts distribution center in Boksburg.

“It also gives me great pleasure to announce that this facility will be known as the Toyota Africa Parts Center or TAPC.”

An operation like this requires well-thought-out processes to operate effectively and efficiently. This facility has it all and has become a benchmark in the industry.

The expanded warehouse has streamlined their processes and operations. This will allow the facility to better serve its dealer network and provide room for growth as Toyota models continue to roll out.

The warehouse stocks everything from small parts, including bolts and washers, that the dealer can order, as well as all fast-moving parts like service items and spares for popular models as well as spare parts. larger ones like glass, leaf springs, body panels and even complete engine assemblies.

Toyota Parts Warehouse

Toyota Parts Warehouse

Managing a facility like this is a complex affair, as the team is always trying to do better to improve its predictability. Yet, the matrix of incoming and outgoing coins can be difficult to predict. The team works according to historical data, but factors such as weather can play a role in the type of parts ordered. For example, a hailstorm in a major center could lead to a sudden increase in demand for body panels on popular models.

The warehouse houses around 2,700,000 stock items at any one time with a monetary value of R900 million. Items held in the warehouse include 700,000 different pieces, of which 123,000 are considered fast-moving items that were ordered within the last 30 days

These parts are sourced from 220 local parts suppliers as well as four major international suppliers.

The warehouse stocks parts for all Toyota, Lexus and Hino vehicles for fifteen years after they are sold. However, if there is a demand for certain parts, they will be kept in stock and supplied long after those 15 years have passed.

Since dealers know they will receive delivery at the same time every day, or twice a day in Gauteng, they can work on the principle of selling one, buying one and keeping only the minimum parts. This helps eliminate the occurrence of dead stock, and Toyota’s philosophy is one of minimal waste.

Warehouse expansion will allow Toyota Africa Parts Center to not only supply parts to its 277 Toyota, Lexus and Hino dealerships in South Africa and surrounding countries, it is now a continental hub vital serving 36 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. as well as six other international export markets.

Previously, these marketplaces sourced parts from vendors in a variety of locations, but now they will be guaranteed a predictable and steady supply of parts.

The facility, 190 meters long and 485 meters wide, employs 493 people.

A large number of drop off points are serviced daily, with the furthest daily point being Rundu in Namibia. The fleet of delivery vehicles covers 60,000 km by road per day.

The Toyota Africa Parts Center plays a major role in supporting Toyota’s ambitious sales target in the local market. While the company aims to sell 131,000 vehicles this year, the parts supply and distribution operation has a sales target of R7.2 billion for 2022, thanks in part to servicing 1.4 million vehicles through the dealer network in 2022.

While construction of the parts warehouse is complete, further upgrades will see the expansion of the facility’s solar yield and the addition of battery storage to support extended hours of operation and allow the installation to completely disconnect from the network. Currently, the facility can store two million liters of rainwater, enough for 100 days of use, and can purify 1,700 liters of water per hour.