commits to building cars, including hybrid models, in Australia beyond 2016 and, in a jab at rivals GM Holden and , says it is doing so without asking the federal government for financial handouts.
Sales and Marketing Executive Director Matthew Callachor says the auto maker’s long-term approach to its business in Australia includes standing behind its local manufacturing operations.
Speaking at a media preview of the latest Australia-built Camry, Callachor says Toyota is in the midst of launching new-generation versions of all three of its locally produced cars.
“It is not generally recognized that Toyota Australia secured its investment for the new-model Camry, Aurion and Camry Hybrid without government co-investment support,” a transcript of the speech shows him saying.
“Further, the majority of our new A$300 million ($322.8 million) engine plant will be funded by Toyota, with financial support from the federal and Victorian governments.”
All these investments have given the auto maker the opportunity to improve its competitiveness and efficiency beyond the current model cycle, he says.
“Planning for the next generation of cars is well under way and, as is normal for any Toyota affiliate, we will develop the business case to secure the next model,” Callachor says. “Our firm intention is to build cars beyond 2016.”
The Camry Hybrid is an important part of Toyota’s overall manufacturing and sales mix, with Callachor saying the commitment to building Australia's first locally produced hybrid is resolute.
The Australian subsidiary won the business against Toyota affiliates in other countries, and securing investment for production of fuel-efficient hybrid technology from 2010 was just the beginning, he says.
“As a direct consequence, Toyota Australia has been able to secure the new engine plant, which will come on stream in the latter part of this year.”
The plant will build the new 2.5L 4-cyl. gasoline engines for domestic and exported Camry sedans and, for the first time, the high-efficiency gasoline engine for the Camry Hybrid.
Trials at the casting plant will start in April, followed later in the month by machining lines and engine-assembly trials from May. Engines will undergo durability testing in Australia and Japan from July to October, with production starting in November.
Toyota has been producing cars in Australia for almost 50 years and, with that track record, was able to gain the Japanese parent’s approval for hybrid manufacturing. “In the long term, we intend for our local suppliers to provide more components,” Callachor adds.
“Securing the engine-plant investment also put Toyota Australia in a strategically stronger position to attract new-model investments from our parent company.”