Toyota commits to the long term

Toyota’s local subsidiary insists it will keep making cars here for the long term after ending three years of consecutive losses to post an annual after-tax profit of $149 million.
杭州桑拿

The Japanese car maker’s return to profitability in Australia comes just weeks after Ford slumped to a $141 million loss and revealed it would axe almost 1200 jobs when it stops making vehicles in Victoria in 2016.

Toyota’s local operations posted a 23 per cent rise in revenue to $8.9 billion for the year to March. The sale of Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Australia rose 20 per cent to almost 226,000.

The $149 million net profit compared with a $33 million loss a year earlier.

Toyota, which has 4200 employees in Australia, attributed the improved performance to a resumption of full production after the Japanese earthquake and floods in Thailand in 2011. The natural disasters had limited the supply of vehicles and parts for much of 2011.

The car maker would not break out the financial performance of its local manufacturing operations. It would only say that production at the Altona North factory in Melbourne – its only local manufacturing plant – rose almost 7 per cent to 99,441 cars in 2012-13. More than two-thirds of the Camry and Aurion cars made there were exported to the Middle East, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Toyota received $72 million in funding from the federal and state governments during the year.

Its local boss, Max Yasuda, said the car maker was ”doing everything we can to strengthen Toyota Australia and ensure our long-term future in this country as an importer and manufacturer.

”Our business is being radically changed to counter both internal and external pressures,” he said.

”Our locally built Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion vehicles continue to sell well in both domestic and export markets.”

Later, a spokeswoman said Toyota intended to manufacture cars in Australia beyond 2016, when its five-year strategic plan ends.

”If we continue to reach all of our targets … we would hope to be manufacturing for many decades beyond [2016],” she said.

Toyota’s Melbourne manufacturing plant employs about 2500 people. It has spent $330 million on expanding the plant to produce engines, and recently hired an extra 140 workers on six-month contracts.

Despite releasing the unaudited figures on Tuesday, Toyota will not lodge financial accounts for its Australian operations with the corporate regulator until next month.

Last month Holden announced a $153 million loss for the year to December.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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