Toyota Australia is looking to expand its hybrid line-up in Australia, which currently just encompasses the Prius and two Lexus hybrids, with a locally manufactured Camry petrol-electric hybrid. Discussions are under way with the Japanese head office to get the go-ahead to start producing hybrid Camrys based on the next-generation update which is scheduled for delivery during 2011. This is the first time an Australian manufacturer has announced a possible date for the local production of a hybrid model.

The current version of the Camry has fuel economy of 9.9L per 100km / 23.8 miles per gallon (auto) which sees it struggling against the efficiency of recently introduced diesel models. The Camry's fuel economy hasn't halted sales in the Australian market but I'm sure Toyota would like to be able to offer fuel-economy-conscious customers their hybrid version.

Analysis: Rolling out hybrid manufacturing operations to facilities like Toyota Australia's Altona factory is indicative of Toyota's intentions to continue to push hybrids from an environmental as well as a marketing point of view. It will be interesting to see if the other local manufacturers - GM Holden, Ford and Mitsubishi - follow suit.

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[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]

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