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Toyota Australia has just announced that it will stop all its local manufacturing operations by the end of 2017, and become a sales and distribution company. Its production plant in Altona, Victoria currently makes the Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion models, as well as a line of four-cylinder engines – all of which, will cease by end-2017.

Why? Plenty of reasons were given, among which are the unfavourable Australian dollar that makes exports unviable, high costs of manufacturing, low economies of scale and increased competitiveness within the region due to current and future Free Trade Agreements.

“The reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia. Our manufacturing operations have continued to be loss making despite our best efforts,” said Toyota Australia president and CEO, Max Yasuda, alongside Toyota Motor Corporation president and CEO, Akio Toyoda.

Approximately 2,500 employees directly involved with manufacturing will be impacted when the plant stops building cars in 2017. This announcement by Toyota Australia comes within a year of Ford Australia making public its intention to shut down its own local manufacturing plants by October 2016.