Toyota Australia has exported its one-millionth car to the Middle East.
Made in Altona, Victoria - which was recently earmarked for a $123million upgrade - the white Toyota Camry marked a high point for what Toyota claims has and continues to be a successful export program for the brand and Australian workers.
Toyota currently exports Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion models to Middle Eastern countries. Almost 97 per cent of cars exported make their way to one of the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The milestone follows on from Toyota Australia’s one millionth exported vehicle to all of its overseas markets, including New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands, in August last year, a first for any Australian manufacturer.
“Exports play a vital part in our balanced business model and we will do everything we can to continue to support our export customers,” said Toyota Australia executive vice president and COO Dave Buttner.
“We hope that we can continue to supply vehicles to this very important export market for many more years to come.”
Toyota began supplying vehicles to the Middle East 17 years ago. Orders peaked in 2008, when 97,153 locally built vehicles were exported. In 2012, 72,899 Camry and Aurion models were built for the region, and Toyota Australia’s overall exports account from almost 70 per cent of local production.
Holden, however, claims to have "the country's largest and longest-running automotive export program", having sent 747,000 vehicles around the world in five decades, a considerable way short of Toyota's one-million-plus exports. Holden exports peaked in 2005, when 60,518 vehicles were shipped overseas.