During the Tokyo Motor Show
last week, Toyota
executives revealed that they would like to add local production of the Camry Hybrid
to their Australian plant in Melbourne. They want to add a hybrid
to their Australian lineup to address demands for improved fuel efficiency
in that market. However as anyone who has watched the bidding battles for new plants in the US knows, Toyota wants financial assistance from the local governments to pay for the investment. Part of Toyota's reasoning for wanting incentives is to counter the currently strong Australian dollar and future tariff reductions, which would reduce the incentive to build locally. If they can work out a deal, they hope to have Camry
hybrid production rolling by 2010.