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Toyota confirms manufacturing end date

End of the line: The final Toyota to be built in Australia will be a petrol-powered Camry sedan.

Final Australian-built Camry to roll off Toyota’s production line on October 3

31 Jan 2017

TOYOTA Australia has announced that it will close its Melbourne-based manufacturing operations on Tuesday October 3, two-and-half weeks before Holden ceases manufacturing in Adelaide.

The closure of the local factory will bring to a close 54 years of building Toyotas in Australia and, combined with the consolidation of corporate roles from Sydney to Melbourne, will leave 2600 people out of work.

The Japanese car-making giant will stagger the closure of the Altona factory, with production of the V6-powered Aurion large sedan set to cease in August on a date that is yet to be confirmed.

In September, the last examples of the popular Camry Hybrid will roll off the production line, while the petrol-powered versions of the Camry will be the last Toyotas to be built Down Under in October.

Toyota says it will continue to operate both AM and PM shifts at the plant until the final closure date to ensure it reaches its volume target of 61,000 units this year. This is made up of 26,600 vehicles for the Australian market and 34,400 that are set for export markets such as the Middle East.

From late this year, the Camry will be sourced from Japan – in new-generation guise – while the Aurion will not be replaced.

Holden announced earlier in January that it would shut the doors at its Elizabeth, South Australia plant on Friday October 20, making it the last car-maker to end manufacturing in Australia following Ford’s closure in October last year.

Toyota Australia president Dave Buttner said in a statement that the company was focused on ensuring a smooth transition for its employees.

“Our priority over the remaining months is to continue to support our employees in every way possible so that they are well prepared for the future,” he said.

“We remain extremely proud of our rich manufacturing history which spans over 50 years. Our employees are committed to producing vehicles of the highest quality as we work towards our goal of ‘last car = best global car’.”

Toyota also confirmed that the previously confirmed consolidation of its corporate functions from Sydney to Melbourne would take effect on January 1, 2018.

The closure of the Caringbah, New South Wales site means Port Melbourne will continue as the company’s corporate headquarters, while a number of functions will also move to the Altona site.

As previously reported, the Altona site will house a new Centre for Excellence, as well as a training centre, while some space at the massive facility could potentially be sold off after manufacturing ends.

The end of manufacturing and the consolidation means that the number of employees will be reduced from 3900 to about 1300 from the start of next year.

The Altona plant was opened in 1978, but the first Toyota factory in Australia was based in Port Melbourne. All vehicle manufacturing moved from Port Melbourne to Altona in 1994.

Toyota announced its decision to end Australian production in early 2014 after Ford and Holden had also decided to pull out of local manufacturing.

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