In the wake of last month's announcement that Ford will cease automotive and engine production in Australia after 2016, many are wondering what the country's other automakers will do. Holden has already confirmed it will stay the course despite Ford's exit.
Much of the GM subsidiary's reason for sticking around has to do with a deal made last year between Holden and the Australian government. In order to secure a GM investment of $1 billion and a commitment to keep manufacturing in Australia through 2022, the government threw in an extra $215 million. According to Australia's Minister for Innovation and Industry, Greg Combet, the government is now in talks with Toyota for a similar deal.
Toyota operates one plant in Australia, the Altona manufacturing and engine plant in Victoria. The facility produces the Camry, Camry Hybrid and Australasia-only Aurion for both the local market and export. The report from GoAuto indicates that negotiations with the Australian government would include adding production of a third, all-new model at Altona, possibly the new RAV4, because it shares many parts with the Camry.
Mr. Combet did not say what amount the government would be willing to offer in exchange for an investment by Toyota and commitment to continue manufacturing in Australia, or whether it would be more or less than the Holden deal, but did confirm the talks were happening. Toyota has declined to comment, but is scheduled to release its 2012-13 financial results next week and could make an announcement then.