Toyota has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kazakhstan government to begin local knockdown production of the Fortuner from the spring of 2014 at a facility belonging to Saryarka AvtoProm in Kostanay.

The plan is to produce approximately 3,000 models a year, a project described by Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister as “a strategically important step towards the development of the automotive industry” in the country.

Toyota Europe chief Didier Leroy added: “We strongly believe that the potential for economic growth and a strong automobile market here is excellent. By starting production locally, we can actively contribute to the acceleration of motorisation and industrialisation of the country.”

Toyota established its operations in Kazakhstan as a sales and marketing company in May 2008 to import and sell Toyota- and Lexus-brand vehicles. Kazakhstan was chosen as a location for knockdown production in consideration of its market potential, Toyota said.