World's biggest car maker announces it will stop making cars in Australia within three years, following similar actions by Ford and GM
Darren Moss
10 February 2014

Toyota will stop making cars in Australia by 2017. The Japanese firm's decision follows similar announcements from Ford and General Motors in the past 12 months, and leaves Australia with no local car production from 2018.

All three firms will remain in the market as importers. Ford will stop producing models in Australia by 2016, and General Motors will end production of Holden cars in the country by the end of 2017. 

Toyota blames the high cost of manufacturing and a low-volume supply chain for the decision, while also citing unfavourable exchange rates with the Australian dollar. "It is not viable to continue building cars in Australia," read a statement from the company.

Around 2500 people will be "impacted" by the decision, confirmed Toyota's Australian boss Max Yasuda. "Although the company has made profits in the past, our manufacturing operations have continued to be loss-making despite our best efforts," he said.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, which represents over 130,000 people in the country says the move is "devastating" and the decision represented the government's "refusal to support investment in Australia, and a lack of support and respect for Australian workers". 

GM also blamed the strength of the Australian dollar for its exit in December, saying that at its peak, producing a vehicle in the country was 65 per cent more expensive than ten years previously. 

Toyota started making cars in Australia in 1963, but following the exit of Mitsubishi and Ford, it was Holden that was left as the sole vehicle maker in the country at the end of last year. At the time, Toyota officials were reported as saying they would review the company's position in Australia.

Models currently made at Toyota's factory near Melbourne include the Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion saloon, as well as a range of four-cylinder engines. While the Camry will be imported from Japan from 2017, the Aurion will be axed completely.

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10 February 2014
Another country succumbs to 'Dutch Disease' (see Wikipedia). Any country that has natural resources and undergoes a commodity boom will see their currency become overvalued, imports become cheaper and manufacturing too expensive and untenable. See also the decline of UK and Dutch manufacturing companies Fokker, Daf,Leyland,Rover,Raleigh etc with the discovery of gas and oil deposits.

10 February 2014
Take it from me, there is enormous popularity here associated with the Holden badge, despite the fact that sales have fallen and the only hope GM have of persuading Aussies to buy Korean c**p is trade on that popularity. Opel had a magnificent failure last year, announcing its launch of the full range of European cars at ludicrously uncompetitive prices, before pulling out 3 months later. Holden dealers have huge stocks of Astras badged as Opels to give away, but no takers. So Opel has cooked its goose. No one here has ever heard of Vauxhall and Chevrolet is only known for the Vette.
I, and about 100 000 other owners, will just keep our Commodores (Maloo especially!) because we will never see such affordable performance again.

Aussie Rob - a view from down under

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