Toyota Motor Corp.’s South African unit says it will export 15,000-20,000 Corollas a year to Australia beginning in 2003, marking the first time Toyota South Africa has exported fully assembled vehicles.

Toyota, which owns 36% of Toyota South Africa, says it also will be manufacturing a new “globally strategic model” there for export to other regions, most notably Europe.

The Corolla will be built at Toyota South Africa’s Prospecton facility near Durban, which will be improved and enlarged with an investment of 1.1 billion rand ($96.6 million) this year. Toyota South Africa is also looking to send components overseas this year to Australia, Brazil, Japan and the U.K., but hasn’t confirmed any deals yet.