There is more bad news for the Australian auto industry today, as Toyota has just announced that it will follow General Motors and Ford in shuttering its manufacturing operations on the continent. Production and assembly will cease by the end of 2017, but Toyota will remain in Australia as a sales and distribution company.

"We did everything that we could to transform our business, but the reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia," said Toyota Australia President and CEO Max Yasuda.

In an official statement, Yasuda said that the closure would directly affect 2,500 manufacturing employees and an unknown number of corporate workers. However, a report in the Australian newspaper The Age suggests that the jobs of 24,000 workers at Australian auto suppliers could also be in jeopardy. ​Toyota currently builds its Camry, Camry Hybrid, Aurion sedans in Australia, along with four-cylinder engines, and it plans to begin importing the Camry and Aurion after production stops.

The plight of the Australian auto industry took a sharp turn for the worse last May when Ford announced that it would end Australian production in 2016. GM revealed its plans in December to stop building Down Under in 2017. In less than a year, the country has lost all three of its remaining domestic automakers (Mitsubishi stopped building cars in AU back in 2008). Questions whether Toyota would stay arose soon after GM's news. The Japanese auto giant had hoped to work with local suppliers to find a way to keep production running, but apparently it could not find a way to make the math work. Scroll down to read Toyota Australia's full press release.
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TOYOTA AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES FUTURE PLAN FOR LOCAL MANUFACTURING

Toyota Australia today announced that it will stop building cars in Australia by the end of 2017 and become a national sales and distribution company.

This means that local manufacturing of the Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion vehicles, as well as the production of four cylinder engines, will cease by the end of 2017.

The decision was not based on any single factor. The market and economic factors contributing to the decision include the unfavourable Australian dollar that makes exports unviable, high costs of manufacturing and low economies of scale for our vehicle production and local supplier base.

Together with one of the most open and fragmented automotive markets in the world and increased competitiveness due to current and future Free Trade Agreements, it is not viable to continue building cars in Australia.

Toyota Australia President and CEO, Max Yasuda, was joined by Toyota Motor Corporation President and CEO, Akio Toyoda, as he made the announcement to employees late this afternoon.

"This is devastating news for all of our employees who have dedicated their lives to the company during the past 50 years," Mr Yasuda said.

"While we have been undertaking the enormous task of transforming our business during the past two years, our people have joined us on the same journey, which makes it even more difficult to announce this decision

"We did everything that we could to transform our business, but the reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia.

"Although the company has made profits in the past, our manufacturing operations have continued to be loss making despite our best efforts.

"Our focus will now be to work with our employees, suppliers, government and the unions as we transition to a national sales and distribution company. Support services will be available to our employees and we will do everything that we can to minimise the impact of this decision on our employees and suppliers."

Mr Yasuda said approximately 2,500 employees directly involved with manufacturing will be impacted when the plant stops building cars in 2017.

There will also be an impact on the company's corporate divisions, which will be studied over the coming months to determine what roles and functions will remain in the future.

Mr Yasuda said that Toyota was also committed to providing support to the industry as it prepares for the end of vehicle manufacturing in Australia.

"We will work with our key stakeholders to determine how to provide the best support to our employees, suppliers and local communities during the coming years," Mr Yasuda said.

"Not only do we need to ensure our local suppliers and employees can plan for their future, we also need to make sure that we continue to produce high quality vehicles and engines for our domestic and export customers."

Toyota Australia will continue to be involved in its local communities and employ thousands of people both directly and indirectly via its extensive dealership network.

It is the company's intention to import the Camry and Aurion vehicles beyond 2017, along with the entire range of Toyota passenger and commercial vehicles.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 77 Comments
      Sergio Alvarado
      • 10 Months Ago
      This could be welcome news for the US plants that build the cars also manufactured in Oz. Isn't Toyota already exporting Camry's built here to that region already?
        Daniel D
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Sergio Alvarado
        Toyota will source Camry from Thailand or Japan. Both make cars with the steering wheel on the correct side for Australia.
      Jerry
      • 10 Months Ago
      Geez, not good...
      whofan
      • 10 Months Ago
      I wish the best for all those who worked in the industry. This is devastating news for the people of Australia. GM and Ford also pulled out. We should never take anything for granted. Thank God we helped out our domestic auto industry.
        whofan
        • 10 Months Ago
        @whofan
        Figures I`d get voted down.
        Neez
        • 10 Months Ago
        @whofan
        i wonder why you got some negatives??? Our domestic auto industry is hugely a success after the bailout.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Neez
          Yep, sure they would have. I'm guessing you believe that all the parts houses would have ceased to exist too. It's not like MB, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, BMW, etc produce cars here. Also, GM wouldn't have been chopped up into little bits. Chrysler probably would have been, and was sort of done anyway, but GM would not have been. They would have gone through bankruptcy exactly like they did. We go through this every time AB posts this click bait.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Neez
          It has nothing to do with the bailout. Also, the industry as a *whole* rebounded, not just GM.
        CH
        • 10 Months Ago
        @whofan
        Um... both GM and Chrysler WENT BANKRUPT! The bailout was given to keep their heads above water but it failed at that. What are you people even talking about? It was only AFTER the bankruptcy that GM and Chrysler started to turn things around.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @CH
          Did you bother to pay attention during that time? I mean clearly since you are here arguing, I'm going to go with no. It wasn't a "two pronged solution". It was "ooops, everyone else was right, GM had to go bankrupt".
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @CH
          Don't forget that Chrysler was basically sold off too. What part wasn't gifted to the unions that is.
          whofan
          • 10 Months Ago
          @CH
          The government told GM and Chrysler they had to file bankruptcy. It was part of the deal and the only solution that would work.
          kb
          • 10 Months Ago
          @CH
          Stop rewriting history, whofan. The people bushing the auto bailouts were never for bankruptcy. It was the other side that was telling people to let them go bankrupt, the side that got castigate for saying it
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @CH
          Dude, go back and read about what happened. They were given money in one bailout, then given more money and forced through bankruptcy after that didn't work. Do you even have a clue what happened?
        brandon
        • 10 Months Ago
        @whofan
        SMH. Dude, you realize that Australia's domestic production had a much different landscape than ours, right? Also, there is another major reason their manufacturing base is leaving, and it has to do with the strength of the AU currency. You are what's wrong with the general populace of this nation. You will believe anything the media spoon feeds you without even a semblance of thinking the situation through logically.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @brandon
          Oh, I'm not discounting the regulations as a part of it. I'm just saying that it is more than just Ford and Holden ceasing production as OP would have everyone believe. That's my point. No AU interference would have stopped toyota from ceasing production. Unless they roll back the regs and try to make their labor rates a little more reasonable, then AU's auto production will stay dead for a very long time.
          PatrickH
          • 10 Months Ago
          @brandon
          lol at strength of currency. The Australian government's draconian and overly harsh climate change regulations are what is driving industry out of the country.
      Hazdaz
      • 10 Months Ago
      Take a look folks.... if we had listened to right-wing pundits and other conservative crazies, what is happening to Australian could have very well happened here in the US if we didn't step up and do the right thing and save GM and Chrysler. The auto industry is very interconnected... when one key player pulls out of a market, the chances that the rest of the manufacturing base collapses is very high. Suppliers typically make parts for many brands - but losing a big player, like when Ford decided to pull out - is enough to then have GM and now Toyota stop building cars there as well. Never forger what those morons were willing to let happen all for their own wacko political gains. .
        brandon
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Hazdaz
        You're an idiot. There are almost a dozen OEM's producing cars in the US for 300 million people. Vs. 3 players producing cars for 30 million. Please step in front of a bus.
          no1bondfan
          • 10 Months Ago
          @brandon
          Chill man. Even if you disagree with the guy, there's no reason to be rude about it. This is Autoblog.
          Hazdaz
          • 10 Months Ago
          @brandon
          You are a traitor to your people. A firing squad would be too good for you and your ilk.
        l5kream
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Hazdaz
        Are you for real??? The Australian auto industry has been supported for years by the Aussie government, but it has failed to save it! And giving bailouts didn't save GM or Chrysler, they both failed! Why do people keep repeating this? Do people not remember the "too big to fail" stupidity from the pro-bailout crowd?? The people saying that are now trying to change history.
          sadffc
          • 10 Months Ago
          @l5kream
          Teabagger BS
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @l5kream
          Do you know if he is a "teabagger"? Has he made mention of being such a person? If not, maybe you should take your programmed idiotic responses to matters you don't possess the intelligence to discuss elsewhere. You would fit right in with the hoards of like minded tools at democratic underground. Sad sack of feces.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 10 Months Ago
      If it wasn't for Obama saving the US car industry, this would have been the US of A. Back in 2008, Ford's chairman testified in Congress that if GM and Chrysler collapses, Ford would have to go too because all the suppliers would collapse and Ford by itself could not prop them all up.
        lwonitall
        • 10 Months Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        This is what I keep telling the rightwing ****heads. If we hadn't given them a bailout, they would've gone bankrupt, and would've lost the auto industry. You cannot let them go, it's stupid! Even the crap japa-korea-nese brand would've ended production here had the American auto industry failed. Bailing them out saved the industry. It's too bad the stupid aussies just watched their industry die instead of helping them.
          • 10 Months Ago
          @lwonitall
          [blocked]
          Jack
          • 10 Months Ago
          @lwonitall
          "Maybe not. But it did save them from extinction." It did not! Bailouts are intended to keep companies from failing. Well, they still failed! The people that were pushing against the bailouts were told that letting them fail would be devastating to the industry. I'm sorry, but is the auto industry devastated? No, the people that wanted the bailouts were wrong. Now they're trying to change history.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @lwonitall
          Wow, your IQ must be hovering around room temperature. It's not just the Koreans, and Japanese that make cars here, many EU countries produce cars here too. So your stupid little rant doesn't even make sense. Also, the AU government has been bailing out GM and Ford for quite a while trying to keep them there, so clearly you don't have a fonking clue about anything you speak on. It shows that government bailouts don't work. Now whos the ch!thead?
        brandon
        • 10 Months Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Here's the problem with that, you do realize that it's not just the Big 3 that buy parts for the same suppliers, right? Allllllll of the OEM's get parts from many of the same suppliers. But don't let facts get in the way of a good government love affair like always. Can you people really not see what a failure the bailouts were? You're like a little kid who put their fingers in their ears and sing "fflflalflalflalflalfallafl".
        bootsnchaps60
        • 10 Months Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        And all the foreign brands with plants here would have quietly cheered.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @bootsnchaps60
          Funny that you point out that article. If you read it, it was more that they were scared of upstarts like Tata making low cost vehicles and eating into their profits. But we are constantly told that no one would have bought GM.............. All that even assumes that they went through liquidation. Which wasn't going to happen. However, chrysler could be saved, as evidenced by the fact they are now owned by Fiat.
      PandaBear
      • 10 Months Ago
      It has nothing to do with Climate Change or Carbon Tax, it has everything to do with the strong AUS dollar that makes manufacturing prohibitively expensive.
      lendersmith
      • 10 Months Ago
      Here's a newsflash for you pro-government lemmings; GM STILL went bankrupt AFTER taking a bailout, - STIFFING the taxpayers and shareholders in the process to favor the unions. Chrysler have done so well, they now belong to Fiat. "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you". Yeah, right. WAKE UP!
      cpmanx
      • 10 Months Ago
      A number of commenters here blame government regulation for the decline of the Aussie auto industry. Interestingly, no automaker has cited that as a reason, nor has any of the news coverage, even in places like the Wall Street Journal--see for yourself: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324123004579055964002663926 There are many problems that killed off local auto manufacturing, including high wages, low import tariffs, declining domestic sales, a fragmented market, and a sharp rise in value of the Australian dollar. Both left & right political parties in Australia committed to propping up the domestic auto industry, but it was a lost cause.
        rcavaretti
        • 10 Months Ago
        @cpmanx
        I concur. The automakers themselves said nothing of government regulation. This is a business move. Sadly, the market is too small to absorb the current costs.
          cpmanx
          • 10 Months Ago
          @rcavaretti
          You are "sure"--even though no company has cited regulations, none of the pro-business news organizations have mentioned regulations, even though they would have a strong incentive to do so if it were true? On what possible basis, then, can you be "sure"?
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @rcavaretti
          Sure, it's a business move. But there were many reasons that went into this decision. So it's not inconceivable that regulations, even if not cited, could have played into their moving of production elsewhere.
        cpmanx
        • 10 Months Ago
        @cpmanx
        Actually, looks like it was really only one person making that argument. My error.
      anon
      • 10 Months Ago
      Oh please it has NOTHING to do with R/L got\' regs, carbon taxes etc. And actually Austrailia has wisely managed their economy to avoid wide swings of boom and bust, and the reality is that the market it just too small to justify production and the reality is there are many \'first world\' countries that don\'t have any auto production or it went away-GM Benelux/Europe used to make a Ranger model (it was a rebadged Opel) but the closed it down, it pretty much duplicated what they sold else where. Switzerland doesn\'t have any-except the used ot have Monteverdi a high priced low production car, Norway Denmark and Finland don\'t either and they do ok. C\'mon it\'s not the end of the world, when they did build em they used pretty good platforms, of which the Camaro uses, and the similar 15 Mustang, however they could have used their Falcon platform for it but NNNOOO Ford wanted to start from scratch, hopefully elsewhere in the respective companies they will use them. BTW in the Auto history on Australia there really isn\'t that much of \'domestic designs\' they were often borrowed from other markets, AMC sold there products there badged as ramblers, Fords were often US versions, with just slight restylings, and they imported KD kits of Pontiacs (usually of Canadian spec) and some Holdens were rebadged Vauxhalls. Not that dire, Australia will do ok.
        Robert Ryan
        • 10 Months Ago
        @anon
        No Fords were not the same as the US versions with some restyling. Very different in many cases. The imported Pontiacs were failures, so were the Vauxhalls Market is not too small to justify production just ask Sweden.
      loopless
      • 10 Months Ago
      This has absolutely nothing to do with what was known as the carbon tax and much more to do with profitability of having 3 auto-makers for a small domestic market in a global car-making world. The carbon tax was a recognition that taxing carbon emissions is a way to force industry to clean up its act. Unfortunately Australia threw out the baby with the bathwater when in frustration they voted out a party that seemed keener on stabbing each other in the back than governing, and elected a bunch of nit-wit climate change deniers. Meanwhile, Australia burns... and Abbot fiddles...
        brandon
        • 10 Months Ago
        @loopless
        We can't even predict the weather 24 hours out, as evidenced by what is happening in the south of the US right now, but we know for certain that the globe is "warming" due to manmade "emissions"? Yeah, that's it. I guess if GM didn't get 200 billion dollars, obvious exaggeration, then the entire US auto industry would have stopped production as well. We would then be forced to ride bikes everywhere because no cars would be made anymore. Nevermind, we will just switch to boats since we are all going to be underwater in 5 years due to 300 feet of sea level rise. Did I get it right? idiot.
      phun-ky
      • 10 Months Ago
      No wonder... they have one guy working and five watching him! :D
        brandon
        • 10 Months Ago
        @phun-ky
        Probably a picture of UAW workers.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @brandon
          It's called a joke. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. Jesus. I'm guessing with a name like "tariff the imports", you must be a chitty UAW worker though.
          Tariff The Imports
          • 10 Months Ago
          @brandon
          Na. You're just covering your butt for your goof. I hope you don't gamble, because you're 0-2. Like your "pic of UAW standing around" when it's obviously Toyota employees. You are also wrong when you're "guessing" I'm an UAW Worker
          Tariff The Imports
          • 10 Months Ago
          @brandon
          You know when someone ( you ) resorts to profanity that person ( you ). All you've done is provide personal attacks.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @brandon
          Dude, again, it was a joke. I insult your intelligence because it is deserved. Plain and simple. It's obvious it is a toyota in the picture. The OP stated "1 working 5 watching.". It was a great place to insert a typical UAW joke because everyone knows what a wonderful group the UAW is. Do we need to find the stories about smoking and drinking on the job then being able to retain that job? So no, I didn't "lose" anything. It's called you don't have critical thinking skills needed to make decisions in this world. Thanks for trying.
          Tariff The Imports
          • 10 Months Ago
          @brandon
          *( you ) have lost the discussion.
        • 10 Months Ago
        @phun-ky
        [blocked]
      PatrickH
      • 10 Months Ago
      The Aussie government has been slamming all their industries with regulation after regulation, many having to do with climate change. This is the end result. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
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