Toyota unlikely to use Holden closure date

Toyota unlikely to use Holden closure date

Toyota Australia has confirmed it had not engaged in discussions with Holden regarding a shared manufacturing closure date, which it insisted has not yet been decided but will be announced before the end of March.

The local offshoot of the Japanese brand - which has built vehicles in Australia since April 1964 - also said it would be highly unlikely that Holden's just-announced October 20, 2017, shut-down date would be used, despite the companies sharing several parts suppliers.

Holden poached Ford Australia's October 7, 2016, manufacturing shut-down date to end local production of its Cruze small car range, but Toyota Australia has only so far cited a "fourth quarter of this year" date range for the closure.

It could leave the Camry four-cylinder petrol and hybrid range and Aurion V6-engined sedans as the last vehicles made in this country.

"We're in the process of finalising the date of closure, we're looking at the production volumes, the sales volumes for 2017, and we will be announcing that within the first quarter," Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Tony Cramb told Drive and Australian media at the Detroit motor show.

"Obviously as a commitment to our suppliers and our employees we want to tell them first, then we'll make a public announcement. By the end of March, you will know when local manufacturing is complete."

However, Cramb gave some clue that Toyota Australia would shutter its Altona, Victoria, manufacturing facility before December. He said the new-generation Camry would be imported from Japan before Christmas but not immediately after the factory closure, in order to allow dealerships time to clear the locally made models.

"This car [new Camry] will be available in Australia after the cessation of local manufacturing, and we've already said a couple of times that local manufacturing will finish in the fourth quarter of this year, so it will be after that but in this year," Cramb added.

Toyota Australia is also expected to release limited edition versions of the Camry and Aurion ahead of the factory closure to celebrate 53 years of local manufacturing.

"I think there will be a number of various celebrations to recognise the long history of local manufacturing for sure," Cramb confirmed.

When Toyota Australia announced it would close its local manufacturing operations in April 2014 it said in a statement: "With one of the most open and fragmented automotive markets in the world and increased competitiveness due to current and future Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), it is not viable to continue building cars in Australia."

The brand last week confirmed the new-generation Camry would be imported from Japan and would benefit from the FTA with that country, aiding with lower recommended retail prices because the vehicle would not be required to pay a 5.0 per cent import tariff.

"There was a couple of [country of manufacture] options that were considered, the vehicle is made in other markets around the world but it is confirmed today that this vehicle today will come from Japan," Cramb said.

In addition to Australia and Japan, the current Camry is produced in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and the US.

Later this year Toyota Australia will reduce its workforce from 3900 employees to 1300, with 2500 connected to the Altona operations and the remainder as a result of merging office headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne.

Original Article www.drive.com.au

Popular Articles

Best Topics

Autonomous cars? Toyota prefers to be in the driver Autonomous cars? Toyota prefers to be in the driver's seat for robot technology

A Toyota Motor Corp. Kirobo Mini robot. TOMOHIRO OHSUMI by Terry Box Even before Ford earlier this year unveiled its

Everything King: Near death by car wash Everything King: Near death by car wash

I have this love/hate relationship with automatic car washes. I like a clean car. I want to use those soft touch kind

'No reason' Amazon won't start selling cars as buyers 'crave' simple buying experience

There is “no reason” why Amazon won’t start selling cars, believes Toyota GB’s marketing director. Speaking on

California will soon allow self-driving cars to operate without a driver California will soon allow self-driving cars to operate without a driver

The California Department of Motor Vehicles just proposed a revised set of regulations that will allow self-driving

What’s wrong with my car? Common reasons it won’t start What’s wrong with my car? Common reasons it won’t start

Turning the key in the ignition and hearing… nothing… is a horrible feeling, but don’t panic. Follow our guide to

Hyundai to introduce i30 wagon in Geneva Hyundai to introduce i30 wagon in Geneva

Hyundai will introduce the station wagon version of the i30 hatchback during the upcoming Geneva Auto Show. The South