Toyota to build seventh-generation Camry in Australia

Amongst the doom and gloom that has been Australian manufacturing this week, Toyota Australia has announced that it will manufacture the newly launched seventh-generation Camry at its Altona’s manufacturing plant in the Melbourne, Victoria for the Australian market.

Toyota Motor Corporation unveiled its new mid-sized vehicle to the global market yesterday in a simultaneous launch.

The Australian Camry range will feature unique model variants named Atara. Both Camry and Atara sedans for the Australian market will be built at the automotive manufacturer’s manufacturing plant in Altona.

The new Camry range will have new exterior body panel, a new 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and be fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission – replacing the current generation’s five-speed. The new Camry, including Atara, will arrive in local dealership showrooms from late November.

Toyota Australia said all new Camry models will be equipped with vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-skid brakes, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, and expects a five-star ANCAP rating.

A new Camry Hybrid, also built in Australia, will be released in the first quarter of 2012.

Toyota Australia senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said Australian motorists accounted for approximately 25 per cent of local Camry production with the balance sold in export markets, mainly the Middle East.

"Camry plays a dominant role in our local manufacturing operation, which directly supports approximately 3,200 jobs in Melbourne and thousands more people employed by our local suppliers," Buttner said in a statement.

"Toyota buys more than $2.8 billion a year of goods and services from 1,274 local supplier companies.

"Toyota has invested heavily in tooling, equipment and manufacturing facilities for the new Camry.

"This includes redevelopment of the engine plant involving project expenditure of more than $300 million being injected into the Australian economy.

The Camry is Australia’s leading automotive export. Last year, almost 96,000 Camry sedans were produced in Australia with more than 70,000 Altona-built exported, and a further 25,000 sold in Australia.

The Middle East is currently Toyota Australia’s main export market. Australia is the third-biggest country for Camry sales with more than 25,000 delivered to local customers last year.

Since 1996, Toyota Australia’s Camry exports have exceeded 850,000 to a total of more than 20 destinations, including Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries, New Zealand and Pacific nations.

Toyota has produced more than 1.6 million Camry sedans in Australia since commencing production of the car in 1987.

In other news, Toyota Motor Corporation will collaborate with automotive giant Ford Motor Company to develop an advanced new hybrid system for light truck and SUV customers.

Both companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the product development collaboration, with the formal agreement expected by 2012.

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