Toyota Australia has shipped the first of its new-generation Camry from the company’s export facility at Webb Dock in Melbourne. Toyota is hoping to ship around 80,000 cars during 2006. The all-new Camry, which as Toyota loves to point out is the only four-cylinder car built in Australia, is destined primarily for the Middle East where it counts for 90% of all Camry exports. The Middle East has proven a strong region for Australian manufacturers with the likes of GM Holden having tremendous success with its Luxury models.
Toyota President and CEO, Mr Ted Okada, said the commencement of exports of the new model Camry was the culmination of a $450 million investment in facilities and technologies by Toyota Australia and will support Toyota Australia maintaining its number one vehicle exporter status.
“Toyota Australia is entering one of the most exciting periods in its history of exports in this country,” said Mr Okada. Overseas demand for the Australian-made Camry is running at record levels and has been buoyed by demand for the all-new Camry, the quality of which is equal to anything in the Toyota world.
“Toyota Australia’s export success is attributable to the hard work of our employees, suppliers, transportation companies, shipping companies and port operations and the pursuit of continuous improvement in our levels of quality and cost performance.“
An interesting fact is that 10 years ago only 20% of cars made at Altona plant in Melbourne were exported. This year, even with anticipated growth in domestic sales, more than 60 per cent of total production will go to overseas markets.
“For the first time ever, we were asked to deliver new Camry at the same time as the other major plants around the world, we had to be ready to build a completely new model without the benefit of reviewing the early performance of plants in Japan or the United States. With the all-new Camry, we are already seeing the positive result of our efforts. We are inspired by our future and I am confident that this is the best car ever built by Toyota in Australia.” Mr Okada said
The launch of the new Camry sedan will be followed later in the year with the launch of the Australian built six-cylinder Aurion sedan.