Toyota reassures customers it will bounce back from the effects of floods

Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has just released a television commercial (TVC) in which it reassures its customers that it will recover from the devastating effects of the KwaZulu-Natal floods of April 2022. It is exactly two months since the Toyota Prospecton Plant in Durban suspended its operations due to extensive damage caused by heavy floods in the region. The facility produces Corolla Cross and Quest, Hilux, Hiace Ses’fikile and Fortuner – while also assembling a variety of Hino commercial vehicles. (Hino assembly has since resumed as of 23 May 2022.)

Produced by FCB Joburg – TSAM’s advertising partner for more than half a century – the TVC celebrates courage, generosity and resilience of both the Toyota brand and its customers. The ad is an emotional rollercoaster showing large volumes of water gushing through residential and industrial areas at high speeds, then followed by images of the Toyota Prospecton Plant immersed in water.

However, there is a twist, which is in line with the brief that stipulated that the TVC must “not cause grief but inspire hope”. We therefore see up-beat Toyota employees commencing mop-up operations at the plant. The advert ends with vehicles rolling off the assembly line with the promise that “we will soon be back to building Mzansi’s favourite vehicles”.  

According to Glenn Crompton, Vice President of Marketing at TSAM: “In addition to inspiring hope amongst internal staff and customers, we wanted this commercial to reassure all stakeholders – including our suppliers and dealers – that we are committed to both the local automotive industry as well as the South African economy. We believe in the resilience of the Toyota brand as well as the customers who have supported us for more than 60 years in this country.”

Toyota has also created an internal slogan for its recovery called Rebuilding Better Together. This talks to how TSAM employees work together as one team to find a way to renew and improve the facility. While a considerable amount of recovery work has been undertaken at the plant, it is still unclear as to when full resumption of operations will take place.

The one person who can’t wait for the plant to reopen is TSAM’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Leon Theron: “We want to assure customers who have been impacted by this natural disaster that we are doing everything in our power to get vehicles on order to their rightful owners.

“Our latest TVC is also a vote of confidence to the local market for having made us the most popular automotive brand in South Africa for 42 consecutive years. We are as committed to the South African people as we are to building vehicles that they love. We promise to come back even stronger…”

Please click here to watch the TVC