MELBOURNE (Jan 31): Toyota will begin a staged closure of its Australian automotive manufacturing business from August before its last vehicle rolls off the production line on Oct 3, the company said on Tuesday.
Toyota announced in February 2014 that it would close its Australian operations in the face of losses from a strong Australian dollar and low economies of scale, just months behind similar moves by GM Holden and Ford.
"Toyota Australia has today announced that Tuesday 3 October 2017 will be its final day of vehicle production at its Altona manufacturing plant," the company said in a statement.
"As part of the shutdown process, the plant will stop building Aurion vehicles in August, Camry Hybrid vehicles in September and Camry Petrol vehicles in October."
The company will also cut its workforce by two thirds to 1,300 people working in sales and distribution and will consolidate its operations in Melbourne.
The slow death of car manufacturing in Australia has sparked heated debate over the future of the economy and the role of government in propping up ailing sectors, after the governing centre-right coalition cut subsidies to the sector.
Ford made its last six-cylinder Falcon in Australia in October.
Car manufacturers started making decisions to close down their Australian operations in 2013 when the Australian dollar was above parity against the US dollar, making local manufacturing uncompetitive.