Australian consumers appear poised to get another diesel-burning luxury SUV in the near future, and word is it's coming from Lexus, of all automakers. Sean Hanley, chief executive of the company's branch in Oz, recently told Aussie website Drive that he's "pretty confident" that the new engine for the LX is getting the green light.
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.
With Ford and General Motors both announcing an end to production in Australia, the country's auto industry is in a bad way. With the exit of two big players, there's increased concern that a third Australian manufacturer, Toyota, will be forced out, as well.
The 2011 labor negotiations between the United Auto Workers and the Detroit Three have been a relatively quiet affair so far, but the story is a bit different on the other side of the globe. Toyota and the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union aren't seeing eye to eye, which has lead to a strike at facilities in Melbourne and Sydney. Well, most of the union's rank and file are striking.
John Conomos, Toyota of Australia's executive chairman has announced that he will be retiring, effective June 23.
The 63-year-old won't disappear from the company's offices entirely, however-- he will be taking a lesser role as chair
emeritus and 'principal policy advisor.'