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Australian-built Toyota Aurion bows out

End of the line: Toyota Altona plant workers and Chadstone Toyota dealer principal Graeme Ward pose with the last Toyota Aurion built in Australia.

Curtains close on locally made Toyota Aurion V6 ahead of Camry finale

25 Aug 2017

THE final Australian-built Toyota Aurion V6 has quietly rolled off the production line in Altona, Victoria after 11 years on the market and 110,600 local sales, as the Japanese car-maker starts to wind down its local manufacturing operations.

Last Thursday was the official production end date for the Aurion, while manufacturing of the hybrid-powered Camry is set to end next month, followed by the petrol-powered Camry, which will mark the end of production at the Altona plant on October 3.

In November Toyota will begin selling the all-new, Japanese-built Camry in Australia, which will be offered with a V6 option as well as the 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol and new-generation petrol-electric hybrid models.

The Aurion was first introduced to the Australian market in 2006, which would tackle the likes of the Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon and Honda Accord Euro in the large passenger car segment which enjoyed greater popularity at the time.

In 2007, its first full year on sale, the Aurion – which was essentially a V6-powered Camry with a different body – experienced its best sales year with 22,036 units sold.

The decline in interest in larger passenger cars has seen this figure drop dramatically in recent years, hitting just 3833 units in 2016. So far in 2017 sales have risen 1.7 per cent to the end of July with 1818 units sold.

Along with achieving more than 110,000 local sales, 70,000 examples of the Aurion were built at Altona and exported to overseas markets including the Middle East, for a total production run of 180,000 units.

Instead of saving the last example of the Aurion for posterity, Toyota has sent the top-spec Presara to Chadstone Toyota in Melbourne to be sold.

The plant closure will mark the end of 54 years of local manufacturing for Toyota, which combined with the consolidation of corporate roles from Sydney to Melbourne, will leave 2600 workers out of a job.

Toyota’s closure of the site in Caringbah, NSW means that some corporate operations will shift to Altona, with the Port Melbourne site remaining the headquarters for Toyota Australia.

A new Centre for Excellence and training facility will be built on the Altona site, which also has the potential to be partly sold off due to the sheer size of the plant.

Toyota’s plant closure will be followed soon after by Holden and its factory in Elizabeth, South Australia, which will cease production of the final Australian-built Commodore on October 20, marking the end of auto manufacturing in the country.

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