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Toyota Australia designers tap into Asia

Design pipeline: Toyota Style Australia manager Paul Beranger (pictured) says his team is busy working on regional design tasks.

Another regional job on the launch pad for Toyota Style Australia

Toyota logo25 Oct 2010

TOYOTA’S Australian design house is negotiating another regional design job as it continues to tap into the world number-one car-maker’s products in the burgeoning Asian market.

Melbourne-based Toyota Style Australia has been meeting with company representatives from Thailand and Malaysia about the still-secret design task, which would follow a similar job of regional importance undertaken in recent months by the local design team of more than 20.

 center imageFrom top: Toyota Etios hatch, Toyota Etios sedan, Toyota Aurion.

Toyota Motor Thailand is emerging as an increasingly important production hub for Toyota, with the Japanese giant set to expand the number of models and export destinations for the Thai operation.

Among these models is a new low-cost car, thought to be a version of the Indian-built Etios sub-compact that is about to go on sale in India in December before being introduced into production in Thailand, China and Brazil.

TSA manager Paul Beranger told GoAuto at the recent Sydney motor show that his team was keeping busy on regional design tasks.

“We have some people coming down from Malaysia and Thailand soon to discuss a project for them,” he said.

Back in December, Mr Beranger revealed that TSA was working on regional product on behalf of Toyota Japan that would not even be sold in Australia.

TSA is the smallest of three design centres run by multi-national car companies in Australia. The others – GM Holden’s centre in Port Melbourne and Ford’s operation in Cambellfield – have been working on projects of global importance, including GM’s Cruze hatch and Ford’s T6 Ranger.

Much of TSA’s work involves advising head office on Australian design requirements for models sold here, with some local enhancement for cars produced at Toyota Australia’s Altona factory.

TSA stylists made a major contribution to the current Toyota Aurion, with TSA’s lead designer Nick Hogios working at the ‘home room’ for that car in Toyota’s Japanese studios.

However, the new-generation Aurion is exclusively the province of Toyota Japan due to its importance to major markets such as China.

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