Toyota to leave Australia

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Toyota has announced that it will cease manufacturing operations in Australia by 2017, with 2500 workers to lose their jobs.

(Credit: Toyota)

Following Holden's announcement to depart Australia in December of last year, Japanese auto manufacturer Toyota has announced that it will also be ceasing its manufacturing operations in the country, with an exit date of 2017.

While it will maintain a presence as a sales and distribution company — as Holden intends — 2500 jobs will be lost.

"The decision was not based on any single factor," Toyota said in a statement. "The market and economic factors contributing to the decision include the unfavourable Australian dollar that makes exports unviable, high costs of manufacturing and low economies of scale for our vehicle production and local supplier base."

The company also cited increased competition due to current and future free trade agreements.

Toyota Australia CEO Max Yasuda and Toyota Motor Corporation CEO Akio Toyoda broke the news to employees late afternoon Monday 10 February.

"We did everything that we could to transform our business, but the reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia," Yasuda said. "Although the company has made profits in the past, our manufacturing operations have continued to be loss making despite our best efforts. Our focus will now be to work with our employees, suppliers, government and the unions as we transition to a national sales and distribution company. Support services will be available to our employees and we will do everything that we can to minimise the impact of this decision on our employees and suppliers."

Toyota is the third auto manufacturer to announce its departure from Australian operations in less than 12 months. In May of last year, Ford announced that it would cease local manufacturing by October 2016.

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