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Toyota Australia exports hit magic million

Ship shape: Australian-built Toyota Camrys and Aurions being loaded onto a car carrier for export.

Celebrations as Toyota becomes first car-maker to export a million cars from Oz

Toyota logo21 Aug 2012

TOYOTA Australia is celebrating its one-millionth vehicle export this month, making it the first Australian car manufacturer to break the seven-digit mark.

It has taken 26 years to achieve the milestone, with first exports sent to New Zealand in 1986, followed in 1996 by an expansion into the Middle East – where the one-millionth export vehicle was shipped in recent weeks.

Toyota Australia executive director of manufacturing Chris Harrod said the company is “extremely proud of our ability to build cars that not only suit the needs of our local customers, but also those in the Middle East and our other export markets”.

In addition to New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands, Australian-built Camry and Aurion sedans are sold in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The news comes just days after Ford Australia announced it has started exporting locally built Territory SUVs to Thailand with a pilot shipment of 100 vehicles.

Holden’s exports are looking up, too, with strong sales of its Chevrolet Caprice police patrol vehicles in the United States and a deal announced in May to provide hot-shot V8 Commodore-based Chevrolet SS Performance sports sedans to North America from next year, coinciding with Chevy’s 2013 Commodore-inspired NASCAR racer.

 center imageFrom left: Toyota Camry and Aurion.

Mr Harrod said Toyota Australia goes to “enormous effort” to ensure its products are able to withstand the extreme temperatures and rough terrain typical of the Australian and export markets.

“The Australian-built Camry and Aurion are trusted brands in our export markets and we are known for producing high quality and reliable vehicles,” he said.

Mr Harrod recognised that tough global economic conditions and the strong Australian dollar conspire to make exporting tough while importers are able to offer more attractive pricing.

However, he said Toyota will “continue to focus on our export program and explore new export opportunities as part of our overall business strategy”.

Toyota’s new Camry and Aurion ranges, launched earlier this year, are on track to increase the company’s export total this year.

The company’s exports dropped to 59,943 vehicles in 2011 but it has already shipped 42,142 to the end of July.

The Aurion is not doing so well back at home, though, with sales down 9.1 per cent to 4592 units to the end of July, but Camry sales are up 23.8 per cent, with 12,723 leaving showrooms.

Toyota is currently offering the entry-level Camry Altise at $28,990 driveaway, compared with the usual price of $30,490 plus on-road costs.

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