The brand will move all its local operations to Melbourne.
After 54 years of production in Australia, Toyota ended manufacturing on the continent today. More than 3,000 people, including former and current employees, officials, suppliers, and dealers, attended the closure event held at the Altona plant.
"Thanks to everyone's long-standing efforts, Toyota became the top automobile manufacturer in Australia, and the vehicles produced here became a byword for quality and reliability not only in Australia but also in the world as the vehicles were exported to other regions like the Middle East," Toyota Australia president Dave Buttner declared.
Starting from 2018, Toyota will lead all its sales and marketing operations in Australia from its Melbourne headquarters, as it transitions to a national sales and distribution company. The Altona plant will be reconstructed as a training and product development facility.
At this point, it’s not officially clear what part of the employees from the factory will remain at work in Toyota, but the Japanese manufacturer says it has carried out re-employment assistance by providing workers with individual career consultations, job information, job fairs, and job skills training in the last three years.
In the last six decades, Toyota has produced a total of 3,541,115 vehicles at the Altona plant. The last models to roll off the assembly lines are the Camry and Aurion with the former being the most popular Toyota on the continent with more than 2.15 million sales.
"I sincerely express my gratitude for the efforts of the employees, customers, suppliers, dealers, government officials, and local communities that have supported production activities in Australia,” Akio Toyoda, Toyota president, said in a video message. “Although the manufacturing business will end today, we will continue to make further efforts to be an automobile manufacturer that will be loved by everyone here in Australia and be supported even more than before."
For more production numbers, check out the press release section below.
Gallery: Toyota ends Australian production
Toyota City, Japan, October 3, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Ltd. (TMCA), the production and sales subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in Australia, ended 54 years of manufacturing in Australia today.
Approximately 3,000 people, including current employees as well as former employees, suppliers, dealers and officials from TMC attended the closure ceremony held at the Altona plant.
TMCA President Dave Buttner paid tribute to departing employees, stating, "Thanks to everyone's long-standing efforts, Toyota became the top automobile manufacturer in Australia, and the vehicles produced here became a byword for quality and reliability not only in Australia but also in the world as the vehicles were exported to other regions like the Middle East."
Additionally, TMCA Chairman Max Yasuda announced at the ceremony the establishment of the Toyota Community Foundation Australia Pty Ltd. to contribute to the Australia region over the long term after the end of manufacturing. The foundation is expected to start with a fund of $32 million (AUD), which is equivalent to approximately ¥2.8 billion (JPY), and will provide educational support to children. Focusing on the western Melbourne suburb where the Altona plant is located, the plan first calls to provide support to students with economic difficulties and to schools with disadvantaged educational environments. Chairman Yasuda stated, "We would like to provide young Australians the opportunity to further continue their studies and careers and support young people's dreams into the future."
Akio Toyoda, TMC president, made remarks via video message. During his message, the screen showed clips of his visit to the Altona plant at the end of August, during which he encouraged employees and informed them of his gratitude directly. In his message, President Toyoda stated, "I sincerely express my gratitude for the efforts of the employees, customers, suppliers, dealers, government officials, and local communities that have supported production activities in Australia. Although the manufacturing business will end today, we will continue to make further efforts to be an automobile manufacturer that will be loved by everyone here in Australia and be supported even more than before."
TMCA will shift its sales and marketing functions from Sydney to its Melbourne headquarters, as it transitions to a national sales and distribution company from 2018. The Altona plant will be re-established as a training and product development facility, leveraging previously accumulated knowledge and expertise to further develop Toyota people, products, and services. Following the decision to end manufacturing operations in Australia three years ago, TMCA has carried out re-employment assistance by providing employees with individual career consultations, job information, job fairs, job skills training, among other activities. TMCA expects to continue with these activities until the middle of 2018.
|March 1959||TMCA founded (original name was Australian Motor Industries, company name was changed to TMCA in May 1988)|
|April 1963||Tiara (Corona) assembly commenced at the Port Melbourne plant (current corporate headquarters location) (ended in February 1987)|
|February 1967||Crown assembly commenced (ended in July 1980)|
|July 1968||Corolla assembly commenced (ended in December 1988)|
|October 1978||Production of the 4K engine for the Corolla commenced|
|February 1987||Camry assembly commenced|
|May 1988||Established UAAI, a joint - venture company, with GM Holden|
|August 1993||Camry export to Thailand commenced|
|July 1994||New Altona plant launched, and Corolla production commenced (ended in December 1999)|
|March 1995||Camry production at the new Altona plant commenced|
|February 1996||Camry export to the Middle East commenced|
|March 1996||Joint venture with GM Holden terminated|
|June 2003||Established Toyota's research and development base in Australia (TTCAP-AU)|
|October 2006||Aurion production commenced|
|December 2006||Camry hybrid production commenced|
|November 2011||New Camry production commenced|
|February 2014||End of manufacturing in Australia announced|
|June 2016||TTCAP-AU closure (vehicle evaluation, multimedia development, and quality assurance functions transferred to TMCA)|
|August 2017||Aurion production ended|
|September 2017||Camry hybrid production ended|
|Vehicle name||Production volume||Production period|
|Apollo (Camry derivative model supplied to GM Holden)||40,287||1989-1996|
|Nova (Corolla derivative model supplied to GM Holden)||28,128||1989-1996|