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Toyota cuts 'won’t affect Australia'

Model employer: Toyota Australia has kept all its workers.

Toyota to cut global production, but not in Australia

Toyota logo1 Sep 2009

TOYOTA Australia says it will not be affected by Toyota Motor Corporation plans to cut its global production by between 700,000 and one million cars next year.

A spokesman for the local operation said it had not been officially told of the decision, which was revealed in media reports out of Japan last week, but added that Toyota Australia would not be affected by any such move.

Toyota last week announced it would stop producing cars next year at a Californian plant it shared with General Motors, which has already announced its withdrawal from the joint venture.

Toyota is also expected to idle a production line in Japan.

While Autonews reports the company is considering shutting its UK production facility, rival Autocar says a Toyota source claims the UK facility is safe.

Toyota Australia’s Altona factory is on track to produce about 95,000 cars this year, which is well down on the 140,000 it made last year.

However, the company recently gathered its workers to tell them that forward orders looked strong and that production would begin to pick up.

 center imageLeft: Toyota Australia senior executive director, sales and marketing David Buttner.

Unlike Ford and Holden, Toyota has not reduced the size of its 3500-strong work-force, despite the significant financial down-turn.

“One thing we have been very proud of as a company is that there hasn’t been one person laid off in this manufacturing facility,” said Toyota Australia sales and marketing director David Buttner.

To avoid over-production, Toyota has stopped the line at Altona for a total of about six days this year, but the employees still came to work.

“Even though there has been what we call down days, where the plant has not been producing vehicles, all the team members have been receiving incremental training and a whole host of skill training and safety training,” Mr Buttner said.

“I don’t think there have been a lot of other people in the market who have looked so respectfully upon their employees.”

Mr Buttner said it was important for Toyota Australia to maintain its workforce.

“It has been a challenging period, but we as a manufacturer in this country don’t lose sight of the value of our people, because that is your skill base,” he said.

Mr Buttner said the market was still tough but appeared to be moving in the right direction.

“We are starting to see some positive signs now,” he said.

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