Toyota is investing $1.5m in a vehicle and parts logistics facility in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that will serve 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.  The centre will hold a stock of finished vehicles and parts inventory, allowing companies operating in the region to source vehicles more easily, rather than having to import directly from Japan, as well as making the distribution of parts more efficient.

The facility will also house a technical training centre offering managerial and mechanical courses for prospective employees.

“The project is already underway and will be operational soon,” Toyota Kenya’s chairman, Dennis Awori, told the Daily Nation. “Apart from the technical training, the institute will also bring up people with managerial skills that will be useful in the sector.”

Toyota Tsusho Corporation, the trading and investment division of Toyota, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government agency overseeing Kenya Vision 2030, the country’s extensive development project, to set up the centre and support collaboration with the Kenyan government across a range of interests including automotive, infrastructure, power and energy, and petrol and mineral resources.

Toyota is targeting an annual turnover of more than $100m in Kenya.

The carmaker is also reported to be looking at expanding local assembly in the country from CKD kits for models including the Hilux and Land Cruiser models. Toyota plans to buy a 50% stake in the a local vehicle maker and upgrade its facility to improve production capacity according to East Africa Business Week.