What was scheduled to take place at the end of March 2020 finally happened in April. Toyota South Africa launched its new Corolla sedan, albeit virtually, under strict lockdown measures.
The virtual conference, hosted by the automaker’s marketing and PR teams, was centered around the new car’s arrival and how it would impact the market in the coming years.
It was a defining moment, both for Toyota as a brand and the Corolla, as it continues a tradition that started in October 1966. This tradition – or love affair – between South Africans and the Corolla grew exponentially over the next five decades. So much so that, in November 1975, Toyota South Africa acquired the necessary permissions to build the Corolla locally.
Local production continued until 2019 when it was announced that the new, twelfth generation Corolla would not continue the trend. Instead, the production line in Durban will be used to build the new Corolla Quest – a car based on the eleventh-generation Corolla.
The Corolla hatch is powered by a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine (85kW/185Nm), but this unit will not find its way to the Corolla sedan.
Though the engine will fit, market research does not justify such an option. Toyota knows its customers. And after selling more than one million units in SA, it’s difficult to argue against their marketing decisions. They are the custodians of the winning recipe, after all.
All Corolla models are sold with a six-services/90 000km service plan, with service intervals pegged at 15 000km or every 12-months, whichever comes first. A three-year/100 000km warranty is also included.