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Australian Car Industry Dies: Toyota To End Local Production By End Of 2017

Toyota has announced that it will end vehicle and engine production in Australia by the end of 2017.

The announcement marks the formal death of the Australian car manufacturing industry. A product of post-war economic development, the automotive industry at its peak included manufacturing plants operated by General Motors Holden, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Toyota says “various negative factors such as an extremely competitive market and a strong Australian dollar, together with forecasts of a reduction in the total scale of vehicle production in Australia, have forced us to make this painful decision”.

The decision follows last December’s announcement by General Motors that it will close its Holden operations in 2017.

Earlier in 2013, Ford announced it would also be closing its Australian operations.

Toyota executives, including CEO Max Yasuda and President Akio Toyoda, held a press conference to explain the company’s decision.

The Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, said it was “an extraordinarily significant day” that would change the face of Australian industry.

  • Listen to the Toyota press conference (21m)
  • Listen to Macfarlane (11m)

Macfarlane

Text of media release from Toyota Motor Corporation.

Toyota to End Production in Australia by End of 2017

Yasuda

Toyota City, Japan, February 10, 2014—Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Ltd. (TMCA), its production and sales subsidiary in Australia, decided today to end Toyota vehicle and engine production in Australia by the end of 2017.

Concerning the decision, TMC President Akio Toyoda said: “We believed that we should continue producing vehicles in Australia, and Toyota and its workforce here made every effort. However, various negative factors such as an extremely competitive market and a strong Australian dollar, together with forecasts of a reduction in the total scale of vehicle production in Australia, have forced us to make this painful decision.”

Going forward, Toyota will work together with employees, business partners, government, local communities and others regarding specific measures.

Furthermore, Toyota is considering reducing the scale of the operations of Toyota Technical Center Asia Pacific Australia Pty. Ltd. (TTCAP-AU), Toyota’s development base in Australia with operations related to Toyota production in Australia.

Particularly for the TMCA and TTCAP-AU employees who will be impacted by this decision, Toyota intends to provide the best support it can, including employment assistance.

Concerning the future of Toyota’s operations in Australia, Toyoda said: “Over the 50 years that we have produced vehicles in Australia, so many people here have kept us feeling at home, have helped us grow and have supported us. TMCA will change into a sales and distribution company, but Toyota’s commitment to continue to provide great cars and services to the Australian people—something we have done for 50 years and will do for the next 50 years—will not change. Toyota will work hard to continue its contribution to Australia.”

Overview of Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Ltd. (TMCA) and Toyota Technical Center Asia Pacific Australia Pty. Ltd. (TTCAP-AU)
TMCA TTCAP-AU
Location Port Melbourne, Victoria Notting Hill, Victoria
Operations Automobile manufacture and sales Design and evaluation
Products Camry, Camry Hybrid, Aurion
President Masahide Yasuda Max Gillard
Established March 1959 June 2003
No. of employees Approx. 3,900 (as of January 31, 2014) Approx. 150 (as of January 31, 2014)
Production bases Altona Plant
Equity participation Toyota Motor Corporation: 100% Toyota Motor Corporation: 100%

 

Statement from Victorian Premier Denis Napthine.

I have just been informed this afternoon by the President of Toyota Corporation Mr Akio Toyoda that Toyota will cease production in Australia by the end of 2017.

I am extremely disappointed by this sudden decision and would clearly have preferred to have had the opportunity to work through these issues with Toyota and the Federal Government.

My thoughts go immediately to Toyota workers and their families as well as workers across the supply chain.

The Victorian Coalition Government stands ready to do everything we can to support workers and their families.

I have advised the Prime Minister’s office that Victoria will be seeking a commitment from the Federal Coalition Government for a significant and comprehensive adjustment package, to assist workers at Toyota and affected suppliers in the automotive industry.

Victoria has a diverse and robust economy which has created 50,000 jobs in the past three years.

The Victorian economy has been identified as best placed to take advantage of the Asian century and capitalise on growth opportunities which will provide benefits across the state’s economy.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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