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Toyota Australia has announced a $123 million investment in its Victorian manufacturing operations, shoring up its presence on the local automotive scene until at least 2018.

The funding will support the production of a “major facelift vehicle” – the updated Toyota Camry – from 2015, and the expansion of its supplier development program over the next five years.

The Federal Government has contributed $23.6 million for its part in the co-investment package while the Victorian Government has chipped in an undisclosed amount.

The Federal Government will also invest $5 million in Toyota Australia’s $15 million supplier development program, helping accelerate the program to assist Australian companies that supply parts to the local manufacturer.

The co-investment deal comes on top of the Federal Government’s $200 million support package announced by industry minister Kim Car this morning that is designed to increase sales of Australian-made cars.

2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid - Camry HL (left) and Camry H

Toyota Australia president and CEO Max Yasuda said local manufacturing was an “integral part” of his business and said today’s co-investment announcement was a “critical step in Toyota Australia’s transformation”.

“The investment ensures that Toyota Australia continues to build high quality vehicles for our local and overseas customers,” Yasuda said.

He said it was vital that Toyota Australia continued to have an ongoing partnership with governments to ensure the long-term viability of its local manufacturing operations.

“Today’s announcement is a positive step forward,” Yasuda said.

“This investment was secured due to the enormous effort undertaken by many people at Toyota Australia during the past 18 months and the critical support of the Victorian and Federal Governments.”

Toyota Australia will direct $108 million of its investment into the Altona vehicle assembly plant in Melbourne and the remaining $15 million into the supplier program over the next five years.

Toyota says it will build more than 100,000 Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion vehicles at Altona this year – with more than two-thirds of those to be exported, predominantly to the Middle East – as well as approximately 108,000 four-cylinder engines.

Toyota has sold 15,591 locally made cars in Australia so far this year, down 10 per cent on the same period in 2012, and trailing Holden (30,250) and Ford (16,984). Aurion sales have slumped 26 per cent to 3395 while Camry sales are down four per cent to 12,196.




  • Hshsbs

    Is the Camty going to get a facelift next gets? 3yrs is time for a facelift model

    • Poison_Eagle

      I think the current model is the facelift? Same wheelbase, windows/doors etc as the 2006 model?

      • chir0nex

        I believe current model is the major change – facelift is next one but they’re touting that it will be a big one!

        i wonder what it is! if its along the lines of the new Corolla and RAV4 (and IS250) then it should be very interesting indeed

      • TG

        No, the current model is a 50 series. The previous model is the 40 series (2006-2011). They are 2 completely different cars.

        • Poison_Eagle

          Both are exactly the same wheelbase, length, width, height.
          It was a facelift with new sheetmetal and interior, the floorpan, hardpoints, chassis etc are the same as the 2006.

          • chir0nex

            didnt think one get electric steering? that would be totally different to hydraulic.
            interior is totally different also.
            i think you’ll find thats a major change – facelift is trim colour, nicer grill and lamp cluster changes.

          • Poison_Eagle

            Yes but my point is that does not make it a ‘new model’, its a Mid Cycle Enhancement

    • Tony Abbotts No1 Fan

      What?

  • Han

    Toyota had one good car and that was the Aurion.

    Too bad the new one got hit with the ugly stick. Seriously the previous one looked very nice, particularly the face lifted model.

    Shame because its actually a pretty good drive

    • Barry

      I like the new Aurion and reakon it looks fantastic. If I didn’t need 7 seats I’d buy one.

      • Spendin Kevin

        The Aurion’s front seems to be trying to emulate the 2007 Lexus LS460, conservative. However, the Aurion’s taillight is trendy artsy fartsy – does not go with the front.

  • ABCDEFG

    Toyota should do something to the horrendous offset crash performance of the 2011-current Camry/Aurion. They should fix it with the face lift next year in 2014. Else some fleet managers won’t be recommending it.

    • Robbo

      And what will the fleet manager recommend instead? Most vehicles fail this test. They still need to sell cars to keep their jobs so what do you suggest?

  • Poison_Eagle

    I read a report that the new one is meant to be dynamic and sporty, as its from the same paradigm that created the 86. Be nice if they upgraded the 2GR, great engine but it’s hung around for 2 generations now…

    • F1orce

      The problem with the 2GR is that the only upgrade for it would be to attach 2 turbochargers to it, which wouldn’t be appropriate for a Camry.

      Otherwise that motor does everything good, its powerful, smooth, reliable & efficient.

      • Poison_Eagle

        They could upgrade to Lexus’ 2GR FSE…. But if they did that, you’d want different suspension geometry, front and rear.

        • Karl Sass

          I don’t think the front wheel drive setup could comfortably handle any more power or torque, the Lexus is a rear driver.

        • JooberJCW

          Agree, it just needs Di, and it will feel like a whole different engine, the 2GR was a smooth thing to begin with, I wouldn’t drastically overhaul it.

    • Zaccy16

      hopefully! the current camry was meant to be sporty but it is as dull to drive as the previous gen but with harsher suspension, hopefully for engineers who are getting the sack can go over to toyota and make them as good to drive as the falcon and territory is!

      • horsie

        I disagree. the current Camry is a huge step up from the previous. I am not sure if i would go as far as calling it sporty. but it sure feels like you are driving something with a bit of flair.

        • Zaccy16

          i agree that the new gen hybrid camry goes well compared to the slow 2.5 but it has a rubbish transmission and the handling is not where near the mazda 6 and could never be called fun or sporty!

          • Xzebit

            what u talking about, the 2.5L 2AR-FE Camry goes quite well and is very refined for 4 banger standards

          • Zaccy16

            it is refined i agree but it is slow compared to rivals

      • Poison_Eagle

        In order for that to happen, they’d have to ditch McPherson Strut front and torsion beam rear in favour of sophisticated multi-link setups.
        But somehow I don’t think they’d go to that extent, driver involvement is not high on the list of owner priorities.

        • Zaccy16

          i know its not going to happen, just some wish full thinking!

          • Poison_Eagle

            Ah you never know, Toyota is trying pretty hard to push the sporty thing now.
            Luckily in the mean time, theres 2 other large cars, with good dynamics and RWD- for that reason Camry/Aurion wouldn’t get a look in for me, personally.

          • Zaccy16

            yep correct, i would have to very desperate to buy a camry or a aurion!

          • Hung Low

            Plenty of good reasons too as well, locally made, reliable, refined and extremely well built cars. For most folk that counts more than handling.

          • Zaccy16

            yes but what stumps me is that a mazda such as the 6 does all those things except being made in japan but is also fun to drive!

  • Bondie

    Toyota has quite a few good vehicles. Good one Toyota…

  • Dave W

    Heh, toyota actually put some money into the economy but seems like most people here only care about that money sinkhole Holden.

    • Jacob

      Exactly.

      It is disgraceful that the public only every say “Holden and Ford” when talking about local manufacturing.

      Hello!!!!! There is Toyota too!!!!

      • Karl Sass

        The difference is that Toyota don’t have a major R&D facility here, the Camry is an international model that’s built here (like the Cruze). The Commodore, Falcon and Territory was designed, engineered and manufactured (principally, not completely) in Australia.

        Although I agree with you, it’s important to acknowledge the locally manufactured Toyotas too.

        • chir0nex

          I think they are localised so we have bits and bobs that are unique to AU (steering and suspension setup i think??).

          i dont think r&d is to the extent that ford and holden have/had but i believe they still do some.

        • Dave W

          But the focus of the talk here has always been the manufacturing, not the R&D. The engineers don’t need to worry about losing their jobs. They have specialised knowledge and skills, it’s not hard to find a new job and they probably have more than enough savings to last them for months without work.

          Besides, with all the talk about global models, it won’t be long before region specific models disappear.

          • JooberJCW

            Agree, its the blue collar workers that are severely affected in many cases. They’ve spent too much of their life finetuning a narrow set of skills, which is hard to transfer across to other industries.

            IMO cars will eventually be homogenous within the same brand and eventually across brands, almost a bulk of models can be derived of a single platform. Things driving this is like the internet and the globalisation effect, in general makes people start to have similar tastes, like whats already been happening with music over the past decade or so.

  • Shak

    Toyota Australia should save themselves a bit of cash and effort and just drop the Aurion line and stick the V6 engine back into the Camry. The Camry nameplate arguably has more heritage and cache in Australia, and it would mean that only one set of lights and panels would have to be made.

    • F1orce

      Yeah i totally agree..I especially like the American market Camry SE V6.
      Don’t know why Toyota bothers with the boring Aurion.

      • Shak

        It is for all intents and purposes a Camry V6. Why bother with a less well known name. Heres hoping they see the numbers and make the right choice.

        • F1orce

          Almost same car, there are quite a few differences.

          But the design of the Camry SE V6 actually looks nice.

        • Lolwut

          Do you do research? Just google Middle East Camry and Aurion and you’ll see that the Aurion has a market there as a premium sedan over the Camry. Auction and Camry actually have market outside of Australia. The world doesn’t revolve around thi country.

          • $29896495

            The Aurion is a cheap replacement for the Crown and Cressida – that’s why it exists. both those cars are rear drivers. So to utilise the assembly line efficiently, change of bumper stick on a new name drop in a V6 and bingo. No need for those two cars.

    • ABCDEFG

      When you’re trying to sell cars to AUstralians, it actually works to name it AUrion. That was the idea of the then Toyota AU’s John Conomos and the AUrion was designed by Toyota AU’s Nick Hogios.

      • Shak

        Seriously? That seems like a really weak idea to base the name of a new car line on. Oh well if Toyota thinks they two separate cars are working well, then all the better. However, the numbers dont seem too good for the local Aurion.

        • Hung Low

          They could go back to calling it the Vienta.

          • Shak

            On second thoughts Aurion is just fine.