In what will spell the final blow to the country’s auto manufacturing industry, Toyota Motor Corp. will stop making cars in Australia by the end of 2017.
Toyota’s announcement, which will result in the loss of around 2,500 jobs, was widely anticipated, and comes just two months after General Motors Co. said it would end production in Australia by 2017. Ford Motor Co. announced in May that it would cease Australian production in 2016. Car companies say high production costs and tough competition have made their businesses unviable in Australia.
All told, some 6,600 manufacturing jobs will be lost between the three companies. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. stopped manufacturing in Australia in 2008.
According to Toyota Motor Corp. said its decision was based on a combination of factors including the high Australian dollar, the high cost of manufacturing and competition.
“We did everything that we could to transform our business,” Toyota Australia CEO Max Yasuda said in a statement. “But the reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia.”
Toyota has been manufacturing cars in Australia since 1963, and currently makes the Camry, Camry Hybrid, and Aurion in the country. It will become a sales company.
Automakers in Australia produced about 178,000 cars in 2012, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.