Toyota reveals first locally manufactured hybrid car

Late last week, Toyota Australia revealed the Hybrid Camry at its Altona manufacturing plant in Melbourne.

Late last week, Toyota Australia revealed the Hybrid Camry at its Altona manufacturing plant in Melbourne.

Said to be Australia’s most fuel-efficient locally built car, the Hybrid Camry — with combined power of around 140kW from its 2.4-litre petrol engine and electric drive motor — will produce less than 150 grams per kilometre of CO2.

Toyota expects the official figures to show Hybrid Camry will use at least 35 per cent less fuel than its locally built six-cylinder competitors.

More than 2000 Toyota employees were joined by the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd; Victorian Premier, John Brumby; Federal Minister for Industry, Senator Kim Carr; Victorian Industry and Trade Minister, Martin Pakula; Yukitoshi Funo, Executive VP, Toyota Motor Corp; and Takaahi Kojima, Ambassador of Japan, to mark the historic event.

Toyota Australia President and CEO, Max Yasuda, said Hybrid Camry represented one of the most significant developments in Toyota’s 50-year history in Australia, believing it has the potential to change the Australian automotive landscape and provide Australian motorists with an affordable, environmentally responsible vehicle.

“We want to build a sustainable industry that provides innovative and attractive vehicles for our customers and a technology and manufacturing base that attracts on-going investment. We will have the unique advantage in our market of producing and selling a four-cylinder hybrid family car. It will enable every household across the country to have the opportunity of having a locally built hybrid in their driveway.”

”Both the Federal and Victorian governments have demonstrated their strong desire for the local industry to build vehicles that help meet the challenges of climate change and a carbon-constrained future.

“The support of Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan was a great vote of confidence in the ability of our company. It has enabled us to respond to the needs of Australian motorists by introducing fuel-saving and environmentally conscious technology as a mainstream option,” Yasuda said.

Toyota plans to build 10,000 vehicles a year for the domestic market and export 300 vehicles to New Zealand.

Hybrid Camry will be released to the market in February 2010. Pricing and specifications will be available closer to the launch. Hybrid Camry is currently produced in Australia, Japan, United States and Thailand.