Toyota Australia has begun shipping its locally produced engines to Thailand and Malaysia, growing its export program to new markets following the opening of its brand-new Altona engine plant in Victoria.
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Both hybrid and conventional petrol versions of the new-generation AR-series 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine will head to the Southeast Asian nations in what is the first time Toyota Australia has sold standalone engines to Thailand and Malaysia.

Toyota Australia plans to export 18,000 engines to the two new markets in 2013, representing one-sixth of total production.

Toyota Australia executive director of manufacturing and purchasing Chris Harrod praised the company’s local workforce, which he said worked hard initially to secure investment for the new engine plant and now continues that mentality to produce quality engines that are sought after by other markets.

"The fact that we were able to secure new export markets in Thailand and Malaysia is testament to the quality of our work and the positive reputation Toyota Australia has amongst our affiliates,” Harrod said.

"It also shows good cooperation and support from the Toyota group within the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, which has allowed us to further expand our engagement and linkage to the Toyota global network.”

Australia is one of only four countries in the world that produces the new 2.5-litre engine, which it is building at a ratio of 85 per cent petrol and 15 per cent hybrid. Roughly 450 engines roll off the assembly line each day over two production shifts.

The other 90,000 engines to be produced at the plant in 2013 will be fitted to Camry and Camry Hybrid vehicles in Australia for domestic sale and export. Toyota Australia exports vehicles to New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Toyota’s new Altona engine plant was the result of a $330 million co-investment program, which included $63 million from the Federal Government and additional support from the Victorian Government.