Toyota South Africa (TSA) is to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC)after TMC acquires local joint venture partner Wesco Investments' 25% share in TSA late this month.

TMC boosted its share in TSA from 35.7% to 74.9% in mid-2002.

"By making TSA a wholly owned subsidiary, TMC will put in place a structure better allowing it to strongly drive forward its South African production, sales, and export activities, as TSA is a holding company for Toyota South Africa Motors, the local entity responsible for TMC's South African production and sales," TMC said in a statement.

TSAM has led the market in South Africa since 1980, sold 153,000 units there last year and currently holds a market share of 22.6%.

Once simply a CKD kit assembler, TSAM is now a base in TMC's global production and supply system and began exporting the Hilux and Fortuner models to other countries in Africa and to Europe in 2005, and launched exports of the Corolla sedan to other countries in Africa in October 2007 and to Europe in February 2008.

"TMC intends to continue to further enhance its production, sales, and export activities in Africa," the automaker added.

Toyota South Africa was established 1963 and is based in Sandton. It is currently capitalised at 601m rand (about JPY8.4bn).