The final Australian-made Toyota Camry will roll off the production line at the company’s Altona plant in Victoria today, as the Japanese vehicle manufacturer ceases local production.
Workers will end their final shift just after noon today, marking the loss of 2,600 jobs after 54 years of Australian production.
Toyota follows Ford, which closed down local production 12 months ago. Holden will end manufacturing at the Elizabeth assembly plant in Adelaide’s north on October 20, bringing the curtain down on more than 90 years of Australian car manufacturing.
The Japanese manufacturer announced in February 2014 that it would cease local vehicle production, saying at the time that “various negative factors such as an extremely competitive market and a strong Australian dollar, together with forecasts of a reduction in the total scale of vehicle production in Australia, have forced us to make this painful decision”.
The workforce will shrink from around 3,900 to just 1,300 people.
The job losses will include Sydney, with all corporate functions moving to Melbourne from January 1, 2018. The head office will continue in Port Melbourne and most of the Altona manufacturing site will be retained for new and relocated functions.
The last local car to roll off the production line will be a Camry, with the plant ending Camry hybrid vehicles in September and Camry petrol vehicles in October.
Toyota’s total volume production for the year was 61,000 vehicles: 26,600 for the domestic market and 34,400 for export.
While the company has yet to issue a statement about today, Victorian industry minister Wade Noonan said it was a sad time for thousands of people who spent most of their working lives building the cars.
“Today our thoughts go out to Toyota’s proud workforce, their families and those in the supply chain who are feeling the impacts of this closure,” he said.
“Toyota is the last passenger vehicle manufacturer to close its doors in Victoria – this really is the end of an era.”
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