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by Matt Brogan

Though far from being official, Toyota Australia chief executive Max Yasuda has hinted at the prospect of a four-wheel drive vehicle, possibly the Kluger, being produced at the company’s Altona plant, in Melbourne.

While the move is welcomed news Mr Yasuda has stressed a decision will not be made until the global financial crisis subsides.

“If we build it here, obviously there is no need to produce (from Japan) for the Australian market, because Australia is the only right-hand drive market for this Kluger,” Mr Yasuda said.

If the Kluger is built in Australia, it will join the medium-sized Camry and six-cylinder Aurion models that are presently built in Melbourne.

“We have made no secret of our desire to produce a third model line-up as part of our manufacturing product mix,” Toyota spokesman Glenn Campbell said. “The possibility of a third model in unlikely in the next few years given the current economic climate, but when conditions improve it is one of the options we might consider.”




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