Following a stint longer than half century – 54 years to be more precise – the Japanese automaker has officially closed shop at its production facility on the Australian continent.
At least 3,000 people, former and current employees, officials, suppliers, and dealers, were on site for the closing ceremony held at the Altona factory – the brand will from now on direct all local operations from Melbourne. “Thanks to everyone’s long-standing efforts, Toyota became the top automobile manufacturer in Australia, and the vehicles produced here became a byword for quality and reliability not only in Australia but also in the world as the vehicles were exported to other regions like the Middle East,” commented Toyota Australia president Dave Buttner.
From next year onwards, Toyota is making the transition towards a national sales and distribution company, with the Altona facility refurbished as a training and product development facility and all sales and marketing operations in Australia coming from the Melbourne headquarters. The automaker said it has helped the workers actually leaving the firm with the re-employment process by providing individual career consultations, job information, job fairs, and job skills training during the past three years. The final cars to roll off the line were the Camry and Aurion, with Toyota locally producing a total of 3,541,115 vehicles at the Altona plant.