Toyota Australia will consolidate its corporate operations in Melbourne after it ceases local production in 2017, forcing roughly 100 white-collar workers into redundancy and others at its Sydney headquarters to consider a move south.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the company confirmed it would close its Sydney offices – currently home to more than 300 sales and marketing employees – before 2018.
The release says there will be “a significant reduction” in corporate support roles, and that the four Toyota Parts Centres located around the country will undergo “major reform to improve global competitiveness”.
Toyota Australia says it expects its workforce will be cut from 3900 currently to around 1300 by 2018. About 2500 of those job losses will be blue-collar manufacturing staff, confirmed by the company in February when it announced its decision to end local vehicle production. Toyota says the 1300 figure includes the loss of manufacturing and corporate jobs as well as the creation of some new roles.
The company says relocation will also be required for the regional offices that support the dealer network in New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria, as well as its product planning and development and national service functions, which will move from Port Melbourne to Altona.
The head office will continue to be based in Port Melbourne (pictured top), and in somewhat of a surprise, Toyota says most of the Altona manufacturing site (pictured below) will be retained for new and relocated functions, including a new Centre of Excellence that will house a world-class training facility and other commercial initiatives intended to enhance Toyota’s business and the community.
Toyota Australia Dave Buttner said the decisions were not made lightly and were based on an extensive evaluation process.
“This year has been extremely tough for everyone at Toyota Australia,” Buttner started.
“We understand that it is a difficult time for many of our employees and we are committed to supporting them during the transition period.
“These changes will provide us with the best opportunity to have a strong and sustainable base for the next 50 years and beyond.
He said the decision to consolidate the company’s corporate operations to Melbourne supported it long-term vision and would assist in improving business efficiency, increase collaboration and reduce operating costs.
“The intention is that the relocation will be aligned to the end of manufacturing and we will encourage our Sydney-based employees to move to Melbourne.
“Our goal is to make these changes as seamless as possible so that there is minimal disruption to our people, our business and our stakeholders.
“There will be a thorough transition process for interstate relocation and we do not expect any disruptions to our regional offices or product functions that are relocating locally.”