When the Toyota Prius hit the market in 1997 in Japan, it was the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. Launched worldwide in 2001, the Prius achieved over 1 million cumulative global sales just last month. Now Toyota wants to sell 1 million hybrid models per year within the next two years.
As a result, Toyota has announced it will begin producing the Camry Hybrid at Toyota's Gateway Plant in Thailand starting in 2009 with an annual production target of 9,000 vehicles. In Australia's Altona factory near Melbourne, the new Camry Hybrid will also be going into production in 2010 with an annual target of 10,000 units.
"Thailand is the first ASEAN country to build hybrid vehicles. As the Camry has received a warm welcome from Thai customers, we are sure these customers will be satisfied not only with the product but also with its environmental performance", said TMT President Mitsuhiro Sonoda at a joint press conference in Bangkok on Monday with Siam Toyota Manufacturing Co., Ltd., attended by Thai government officials.
In an Australian Government-sponsored press conference on Tuesday, Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe said: “We decided to build the Camry Hybrid in Australia because Australians are keenly aware of environmental issues, including global warming, and we are confident that the Camry Hybrid will be well received. Toyota intends to make further efforts toward popularising hybrid vehicles.”
Outline of TMCA
Company name: Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Ltd (TMCA)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
President: Masahide Yasuda
Equity participation: Toyota Motor Corporation 100%
Plant name: Altona
Annual production capacity: 150,000 units
Products: Camry, Aurion
2007 production results: 149,000 units
Number of employees: 4,500 (as of 31 May 2008)
Outline of TMT
Company name: Toyota Motor Thailand Co. Ltd (TMT)
Samrong Plant – Samutprakarn Province, approx. 15km south of Bangkok
Gateway Plant – Chachoengsao Province, approx. 110km southeast of Bangkok
Ban Pho Plant – Chachoengsao Province, approx. 65km southeast of Bangkok
President Mitsuhiro Sonoda
Equity participation: Toyota Motor Corporation 86.4%, Siam Cement Public Co. Ltd 10%, others 3.6%,
Start of production: Samrong 1964, Gateway 1996, Ban Pho 2007
Annual production capacity: Samrong 250,000 units, Gateway 200,000 units, Ban Pho 100,000 units
Products: Samrong – Hilux, Fortuner; Gateway – Camry, Corolla, Soluna, Vios, Wish, Yaris; Ban Pho – Hilux.
2007 production results: 502,000 (including CKD production)
Number of employees 14,000 (as of 31 May 2008)