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Toyota quits: Next-gen Camry was “close”

Last hurrah: A facelifted Camry will be the last Toyota model built in Australia, the car-maker says.

Toyota says decision to quit was a close call as it confirms final Camry facelift

10 Feb 2014

TOYOTA Australia will roll out one more facelift for its Camry mid-size car before pulling up stumps in 2017.

In a letter circulated to workers after this afternoon’s announcement that the car-maker would quit its Australian manufacturing business, workers were told the Camry due potentially at the end of this year would be the last.

“As a result of the decision the major facelift vehicle, otherwise known as Big Minor Change Camry, will be the last car we produce in the plant,” the letter signed by Toyota Australia president Max Yasuda says.

Mr Yasuda told a press conference late today that the car-maker had come “very close” to securing the next-generation Camry for production in Australia, which would have carried the Australian arm of the business beyond 2017.

However, instead his letter to staff was apologetic, saying the car-maker had explored every opportunity to keep the business alive.

The final decision to quit Australia was believed to have been made in a conference call between Australia and the car-maker’s Japanese head office earlier today.

“Because all of us have worked so hard to strengthen our business case, this was the toughest decision we had to make.

“I am extremely proud of what you have achieved, and want to express my sincere appreciation for all you have done.

“I know we did everything we could to make our business stronger during the past two years. We left no stone unturned.

“Unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, the challenges posed by factors outside our control were simply too great to overcome.”

Mr Yasuda said he was sorry that the decision was not the one his 2500 employees wanted.

“I expect that you have many questions over the coming weeks and months. We will address each of your concerns as we deal with the issues arising from this decision.

“Starting now we will work with you to determine how best to assist you as we work through the transition period (to a full vehicle importer).

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