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Toyota Australia exports head towards 70K

Setting sail: Almost 70,000 Australian-made Toyota Camrys and Aurions were loaded into car carrying ships during the financial year ended March 31.

Still some way to go for Toyota Australia exports to reach 2008 record of 100K units

Toyota logo4 Apr 2013

TOYOTA Australia racked up 69,762 exports of Camry and Aurion sedans for the financial year ending March 31, an increase of 13.7 per cent over the previous financial year.

But the figure – equating to around 70 per cent of local production – still falls short of the 2008 record, when Toyota became the first Australian car-maker to export more than 100,000 units in a year.

This financial year’s highest export month for the Altona factory in Melbourne’s west was August, when 8470 vehicles were shipped overseas – bringing the total to one million since exports began in 1986.

Its second highest monthly export figures for the financial year was March, with 7383 cars shipped overseas last month.

Approximately 97 per cent of March exports were destined for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The rest went to New Zealand, Yemen and the South Pacific Islands.

Toyota Australia executive vice president and COO Dave Buttner said the competitiveness of Australian exports would be improved under an Australia-GCC free trade agreement.

“We are supportive of the work being undertaken by the minister for trade and competitiveness Dr Craig Emerson in continuing to register the Australian Government's interest in this agreement,” he said.

“The fact that we have strong exports is an indication of the high quality and durability of the vehicles we build here in Australia.

“We have now exported more than one million vehicles, which is more than any other Australian manufacturer.”

In January Toyota Australia began exporting 2.5-litre four-cylinder AR petrol and hybrid engines from the recently opened $331 million engine plant at Altona.

Around 16 per cent of engine production – equating to roughly 18,000 units – will be exported to Malaysia and Thailand.

Mr Buttner said the engine export program “strengthens our export program and overall business strategy”.

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