Toyota Australia is a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, which is based in Japan. It markets Toyota products and manages motorsport, advertising and business operations for Toyota in Australia. It is also responsible for Lexus vehicles in Australia.
Toyota Australia manufactured cars in Australia from 1963 until 2017.
Toyota Australia commenced operations in 1958 where Toyota Land Cruisers were imported by Thiess Toyota for the Snowy Mountains Scheme. By 1963, assembly of Toyota vehicles in Australia by Australian Motor Industries (AMI) had begun, taking place at the production plant in Port Melbourne. The production line of Toyota vehicles in 1963 was devoted to the Toyota Tiara.
A production plant in Altona, was established and began the production of engines in 1978, following the progressive growth of AMI. After Toyota's products came in for heavy criticism regarding their handling, a handling package developed specifically for the Australian market was introduced in 1981. The first AMI exported car was a Toyota Corona wagon in 1986 headed for New Zealand.
In 1987, Toyota Australia and Holden formed United Australian Automobile Industries in response to the Button car plan. This resulted in Toyota Australia building Holden Apollo and Holden Novas at Altona that were badge engineered Camrys and Corollas.
The one-millionth locally built Toyota was produced in 1992. In 1994, all vehicle manufacturing operations were moved from Port Melbourne to Altona. The last vehicle produced at the Port Melbourne plant was a Toyota Camry and the first vehicle produced at the Altona plant a Toyota Corolla. Port Melbourne continued performing minor operations.
The two-millionth locally built Toyota was produced in 2004. In 2005, the ten-millionth worldwide Camry was built at Altona. The complete closure and end of all Toyota production operations at the Port Melbourne plant took place in May 2006. All manufacturing was shifted to Altona. The milestone of the 500,000th Toyota Australia vehicle export also occurred in May 2006. The vehicle was a Toyota Camry, headed for New Zealand.
As of 2006, Altona produced the Camry. Production of the Avalon has ceased, due for replacement on the manufacturing line by the Toyota Aurion, which shares many components with the Camry. Production of the Camry Hybrid begain in 2010 after a $35 million subsidy was secured from the Federal Government. The first locally-made Australian Toyota Hybrid Camry was completed and revealed to public on 11 December 2009, driven by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
In February 2014, it was announced Toyota would cease manufacturing vehicles and engines in Australia by the end of 2017. The decision was based on the unfavourable Australian dollar making exports not viable, the high cost of local manufacture and the high amount of competition in a relatively small local market. The company plans to consolidate its corporate functions in Melbourne by the end of 2017. The head office will remain in Port Melbourne and the Altona plant will be retained for other functions. The workforce is expected to be reduced from 3,900 to 1,300.
Toyota built cars in Victoria, Australia between 1963-2017.
The Altona factory would build three models—Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion—for domestic and export customers.
in February 2014, Toyota Australia announced its decision to close its manufacturing plant by the end of 2017 and become a national sales and distribution company.
Toyota vehicles built in Australia:
The Altona plant was the Toyota Australia manufacturing facility that operated in the Melbourne suburb of Altona. It opened in 1994, replacing the previous Port Melbourne site, but closed in 2017. The plant produced the Camry and Aurion for sale locally in Australasia and for export to the Middle East. Until the early 2000s, export to East and Southeast Asia also occurred. The plant also manufactured the Avalon between 2000 and 2005.
In December 2009, full-scale production of the new Australian Camry Hybrid commenced. On 11 December 2009, manufacture of the first locally-made Camry Hybrid was completed and revealed to the public, writing a new page in the history of the Australian automotive industry.
In April 2012, Toyota retrenched 350 workers. Toyota received criticism for the manner in which the process was carried out; for example, deploying security guards to escort sacked staff.
The plant closed on 3 October 2017, marking the end of Toyota's automobile manufacturing in Australia.
Toyota Australia currently holds the largest market share of Australia's new car market.
|Year||Units sold||Sales rank||Reference|
Above figures exclude Lexus sales.
As of September 2017[update], Toyota Australia offers a large range of motor vehicles in Australia for private and fleet buyers.
Toyota Team Australia competed in the Australian Touring Car Championship between 1985 and 1990 with Sprinters, Corollas and a Supra. It also competed in the Australian Rally Championship with Neal Bates.
In March 2015, Toyota Australia announced an affordable, grassroots motorsport series based on the country's best-selling sports car, the Toyota 86 coupe, to be raced at Supercars Championship events. The series started in 2016 and is run as a pro-am with up to five selected professional drivers who will mentor and compete against a larger field of amateur drivers who will qualify to get onto the starting grid. The Toyota 86 Pro-Am race series, under the official banner of Toyota Racing Australia, is staged at selected Supercars events and has been sanctioned by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport.
Toyota Technical Centre Australia (TTC-AU). Formed in June 2003 in Notting Hill, Victoria to do Body Engineering; Chassis, Mechanical Engineering & Evaluation; Customer Quality Engineering; Electronics Engineering; and Support.
Toyota Australia supports a wide range of Australian activities through its community sponsorship and promotions program. These include the Australian Football League, where it has been the premier partner since 2004, as well as Cricket Australia, the Australian Paralympic Committee, cycling, triathlon, surfing and snow sports. It is also a key partner of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, in addition to being the major sponsor of Planet Ark's National Tree Day.
Media related to Toyota Motor Corporation Australia at Wikimedia Commons