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by Tim Beissmann

Toyota Australia has reported an after-tax profit of $149.1 million for the 2012-2013 financial year ending March 31.

The positive fiscal result represents a $181.7 million turnaround from the natural disaster-affected 2011-2012 financial year, in which Toyota Australia posted a $32.6 million loss on the back of production disruptions stemming from the Japan earthquake and Thailand floods.

It also makes Toyota the only local manufacturer to report a profit this year after Holden announced a $152.8 million loss – the second-biggest in the company’s history – in May, and Ford Australia followed weeks later with its own $141 million loss, accompanied by confirmation of its decision to end local vehicle production in October 2016.

Toyota Australia’s total revenue was up almost 23 per cent in 2012-2013 to $8.9 billion, while sales of Toyota and Lexus vehicles increased more than 20 per cent to 225,599.

Production of Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion models at Toyota Australia’s manufacturing plant in Altona increased roughly seven per cent to 99,441, with 69,676 vehicles exported to New Zealand, the South Pacific Islands and the Middle East.

Toyota Australia opened its new $330 million engine plant late last year, making it the first local manufacturer to produce hybrid engines and opening up new export opportunities with Malaysia and Thailand.


Toyota Australia president and CEO Max Yasuda said the local division’s company-wide transformation plan designed to strengthen the business was another important factor contributing to the profit.

“Our business is being radically changed to counter both internal and external pressures impacting us,” Yasuda said.

“We are doing everything we can to strengthen Toyota Australia and ensure our long-term future in this country as an importer and manufacturer.”

Yasuda said the financial results showed the company’s transformation was on track, but cautioned more work needed to be done to achieve its ambitious targets.

Toyota Australia is 15 months into a five-year plan developed in response to ongoing challenges including the high Australian dollar, strong market competition and the high cost of materials.

Yasuda said the main objective of the plan was to secure a solid foundation for future growth in Australia. Late last week it was revealed the Federal Government is in the process of developing “a range of measures” to guarantee the future of Toyota’s local manufacturing operations.


The president reiterated that the company was committed to building vehicles in Australia as well as importing desirable products that would appeal to local customers.

“Our locally built Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion vehicles continue to sell well in both domestic and export markets. This demonstrates we are building high quality and durable vehicles that Australian motorists want to buy and enjoy, with the Camry being the best selling vehicle in its segment for 19 years in a row.

“Our products have contributed to our continued growth. Last year we introduced three brand new vehicles – the Prius C, Prius V and the 86 sports car – along with many next-generation vehicles, all of which appealed to Australian customers.”

The Rukus was the only model to lose significant ground for Toyota in the 2012 calendar year, falling 30 per cent. Toyota’s volume sellers were among its big winners, including the Camry (27,230 sales, up 42 per cent), HiLux (40,646 sales, up 13 per cent), Prado (17,045 sales, up 57 per cent) and the Yaris (18,808 sales, up 16 per cent).

The introduction of the new Lexus GS saw sales of the large luxury nameplate increase 447 per cent to 624 units, while the RX SUV was the brand’s second-highest-selling model (2169 sales, up 23.4 per cent). Lexus IS sales fell 22 per cent to 2349 units in anticipation of the all-new model due in the coming months.

Toyota Australia employs approximately 4200 people across Australia.