Username
Password
  RegisterForgot your password?
  •  
  • Lightbox
 
 
Press Kits

HYBRID CAMRY PILOT BUILD PRESS KIT

  1. FIRST LOCAL HYBRID ON THE WAY
  2. TOYOTA INVESTS FOR HYBRID TECHNOLOGY
  3. CAMRY POWERED BY HYBRID SYNERGY DRIVE
  4. HYBRID BATTERY LASTS LIFE OF THE VEHICLE
  5. HYBRID SYSTEMS 101: AN INTRODUCTION
  6. TOYOTA'S HYBRID MILESTONES
  7. TEN HYBRID FACTS
  8. TOYOTA SPEECHES
  9. SENATOR KIM CARR SPEECH
  10. STATEMENT BY THE PREMIER OF VICTORIA

FIRST LOCAL HYBRID ON THE WAY


Australia's first locally produced hybrid car is officially on the way.

Toyota Australia today marked the start of pilot production of the ultra fuel-efficient Hybrid Camry with a ceremony at the company's Altona plant in Melbourne's west.

Victorian Premier the Hon. John Brumby, Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science & Research, Senator the Honourable Kim Carr and Victorian Industry and Trade Minister the Hon. Martin Pakula MLC joined Toyota executives to mark the historic event.

Premier Brumby and Federal Industry Minister Senator the Hon. Kim Carr, pushed a "power" button to officially commence pilot production.

They were flanked by Toyota Australia's president and chief executive officer Max Yasuda, senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner and executive director manufacturing and purchasing Tatsuo Shinozaki.

In the pilot production phase, Toyota produces a small batch of vehicles to test all its processes, parts and assembly methods.

Full-scale production is due to begin in December and Hybrid Camry will go on sale in February next year.

Mr Yasuda said Toyota led the world in hybrid vehicles and was committed to remaining at the forefront of innovation and environmentally friendly technology.

He said introducing hybrid technology in Toyota's local manufacturing was one of the most significant developments in the company's 50-year history in Australia.

"This has the potential to change the automotive landscape forever," Mr Yasuda said.

Mr Yasuda said Toyota was working towards a sustainable local automotive industry that supported jobs, innovation and, ultimately, a prosperous low-carbon society.

"This aligns with Toyota's global strategy to accelerate the roll-out of eco-friendly vehicles.

"A practical demonstration of this is the introduction of new Hybrid Camry here at Altona."

Toyota plans to produce at least 10,000 Hybrid Camrys per year for the domestic market and 300 per year for export to New Zealand.

"The strong support of both the Federal and Victorian Governments was a critical factor in our ability to secure Hybrid Camry for local production," Mr Yasuda said.

"They helped Toyota Australia to make a convincing business case.

"A vital element was the strong desire of both levels of government to introduce new environmentally friendly technology and promote innovation within the Australian automotive industry."

The support of Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan was a great vote of confidence in the ability of the Australian company.

"It demonstrates that our manufacturing operations can compete with the best in the world.

"We have responded to the needs of Australian motorists by introducing fuel-saving and environmentally friendly technology as a mainstream option."

...ends/

back to top 

TOYOTA INVESTS FOR HYBRID TECHNOLOGY


Toyota has made a significant investment to bring hybrid technology to Australia, the company's president and chief executive officer Max Yasuda said today.

Mr Yasuda said Toyota Australia had introduced new high-tech equipment into many production processes to raise quality even higher, increase productivity and improve logistics.

"Several areas throughout the Altona manufacturing facility are completely new or have been totally reconfigured to accommodate hybrid production," he said.

"We have re-engineered many of our manufacturing processes to improve ergonomics, specifically for the installation of hybrid components.

"Another key part of our investment in Hybrid Camry is the training of our people to ensure we deeply understand the specific techniques involved in manufacturing a hybrid vehicle."

Toyota Australia has sent engineers and team leaders to Toyota plants in Japan, Thailand and the United States.

Local engineers have extensively reviewed sample cars from Japan and the United States.

"This is fundamental to our goal of building in quality and devising the most efficient production method."

Our local Technical Centre has been involved in the engineering and design aspects of this vehicle.

The 3,200 people here at Altona are already responsible for the best-quality locally built cars - and very soon, they will add Hybrid Camry to their list of capabilities.

"Toyota is fortunate to have people of the highest calibre - a skilled, flexible and passionate workforce.

"We have also received great support from our suppliers, who understand what it takes to remain at the cutting edge of this business.

"We expect their involvement in Toyota's hybrid technology to grow over time."

...ends/

back to top 

CAMRY POWERED BY HYBRID SYNERGY DRIVE


Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology is at the heart of Hybrid Camry.

The technology makes the most efficient use of two power sources - a petrol engine working together with an electric motor.

Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said Hybrid Synergy Drive turns Camry into a next-generation, fuel-efficient vehicle.

"It will help the environment as well as the hip pockets of Australian motorists.

"It will produce lower and cleaner emissions - and is certainly far better for the environment than a comparable diesel car.

"It will mean fewer trips to the petrol bowser, cutting costs for motorists and lowering the demand for oil.

"When conditions are appropriate, Hybrid Camry will run on the electric motor alone - using no fuel and creating zero emissions."

Mr Buttner said hybrid technology is a key part of Toyota's and Australia's motoring future.

Toyota is planning to introduce eight new hybrid models in the next four years.

All this means Toyota's commitment to hybrid is absolute - and the hybrid future definitely includes Australia.

Toyota already has more experience with hybrid technology than any other carmaker.

"We have been working on hybrids for more than 40 years - long before the arrival of airbags, anti-skid brakes and climate-control air-conditioning," he said.

The global target is to offer a hybrid version of every model in Toyota's range by the 2020s.

...ends/

back to top 

HYBRID BATTERY LASTS LIFE OF THE VEHICLE


Toyota's proprietary nickel-metal hydride batteries in Prius and upcoming Camry Hybrid have been designed to last the life of the vehicle.

Toyota has sold more than 13,000 Prius hybrid vehicles in Australia and the performance of the batteries has been outstanding.

Toyota Australia's product planning manager, Ashley Edwards, said several Prius taxis have been driven for more than 350,000km on the original battery - equivalent to more than 20 years of normal driving.

"We have only had to replace a handful of batteries for mileage-related reasons - and they had all done more than 400,000km," Mr Edwards said.

The battery used in a hybrid car is different from the small batteries used in normal cars and mobile phones.

Hybrid car batteries are built for maximum stamina so that they have sufficient power to keep the car and motor running steadily at high-speed revolutions.

The three main things that shorten battery lifespan are:

• Substantial amounts of heat, which requires a cooling system
• Being completely drained of power
• Being charged up to 100 per cent in normal operation

That does not happen in a Toyota hybrid because the battery can be charged by the generator whenever the car is in motion.

The battery-charging computer controls the traction batteries to maintain a state of charge between 40 to 80 per cent - not too little and not too much.

This means the battery's lifespan is lengthened and the battery does not have to be changed.

Electronic control components will last for roughly the lifespan of the car.

Mr Edwards said many people worried unnecessarily that electronic controls were more complicated and more likely to break.

"With fewer mechanical parts to wear out, they're actually much less likely to break," he said.

As part of its actions to reduce the environmental impact of all its cars, Toyota is involved in activities to reduce waste and recycle materials as much as possible.

In Prius, for example, 98 per cent of the battery is recyclable.

"In Australia, we have had a recycling process for the hybrid battery for almost eight years - ahead of the local launch of Prius in 2001," Mr Edwards said.

"The locally produced Camry Hybrid, which goes on sale early next year, uses the same type of battery as in Prius - nickel-metal hydride.

"Toyota dealers are the central collection points for batteries, which are then transferred to certified Toyota recycling partners in Australia and overseas at no additional cost to consumers. "

The recyclers used by Toyota Australia are certified to ISO14001.

The battery's plastic, metal and copper wire are recycled locally, while circuit boards and battery elements are exported for recycling.

Recycling requirements have been provided to customers, emergency services, automobile clubs and industry bodies including the Auto Parts Recyclers Association of Australia.

Roadside assistance and emergency services have also been instructed how to handle hybrid vehicles, for example, in the case of an accident.

...ends/

For further information, please contact:
Mike Breen
Ph: 0418 447 064
E: mike.breen@toyota.com.au

back to top 

HYBRID SYSTEMS 101: AN INTRODUCTION


There are basically three types of hybrid system: series, parallel and the combination of both, the series-parallel system used by Toyota.

The series hybrid drivetrain is the simplest hybrid configuration because the electric motor is the only means of providing power to get your wheels turning.

The motor receives electric power from the battery pack, which is charged by a generator powered by a small on-board internal combustion engine or by using plug-in technology.

The engine is typically small and the battery pack has to be powerful enough to provide peak driving power needs.

As there is no mechanical connection between the engine and the drive system, a series hybrid hauls around a petrol engine that isn't available to directly propel the car.

Right now, there are no automotive series hybrids in mass production.

The Chevrolet Volt will be a plug-in series-hybrid. GM refers to it as an electric vehicle and describes the petrol engine as a range extender.

Series hybrids have of course been around for a long time in non-automotive applications.

In fact, for at least the last 50 years, railroad locomotives have been series hybrids, with huge diesel engines driving generators that provide the electrical power that turns the locomotives' wheels.

With a parallel hybrid, both the engine and the electric motor generate the power that drives the wheels.

The addition of computer controls and a transmission allow these components to work together.

This is the technology in the Honda hybrids, called Integrated Motor Assist.

The engine is the main power source, while the motor assists with acceleration; in other words, the motor is there to help out the engine.

Unlike Toyota's system, the petrol engine is unable to charge the battery and propel the car at the same time.

Parallel hybrids can use a smaller battery pack and therefore rely mainly on regenerative braking to keep it recharged.

However, when power demands are low, the motor can act as a generator for supplemental recharging, much like an alternator in conventional cars.

As the engine is connected directly to the wheels, it eliminates the inefficiency of converting mechanical power to electricity and back, which makes these hybrids quite efficient on the highway.

Yet the same direct connection between the engine and the wheels that increases highway efficiency compared with a series hybrid does reduce, but not eliminate, the city driving efficiency benefits.

In other words, the engine operates relatively inefficiently in stop-start driving because it is forced to meet the associated widely varying power demands.

The series-parallel hybrid system in Prius and the upcoming Hybrid Camry combines the best elements of these two systems.

Toyota refers to this technology as Hybrid Synergy Drive.

The petrol engine can drive the wheels directly and it can also be effectively disconnected from the wheels so that only the electric motor powers the wheels, saving fuel and cutting emissions.

Prius has made this concept popular.

As a result of the dual drivetrain, the petrol engine operates at near optimum efficiency more often.

The vehicle can run on just the motor or on a combination of engine and motor power for efficient driving.

At lower speeds, it operates more as a series hybrid vehicle.

At high speeds, or in situations with high power demands where the series drivetrain is less efficient, the vehicle operates more like a parallel hybrid.

In this situation, the internal combustion engine takes over and any excess energy is stored in the battery for future use.

The stored energy can also be used to provide extra power in tandem with that provided by the petrol engine.

This system incurs higher costs than a parallel hybrid because it needs two motor/generators, a larger battery and more computing power.

However, Hybrid Synergy Drive has the potential to perform better than either of the other systems alone.

In Prius and Camry Hybrid, an electric motor is used for start-up and for low to mid-range speeds.

In normal cruising, both the engine and an electric motor drive the wheels.

Power allocation is controlled to ensure the best efficiency.

As necessary, the generator also recharges the battery from surplus engine power.

Under hard acceleration, the battery supplies additional energy to boost drive power, while the engine and motor provide smooth acceleration response.

When the driver brakes or slows down, the motor acts as a generator, driven by the car's wheels - providing regenerative braking.

It recovers the kinetic energy that is normally lost as heat, converts it into electricity and stores it in the battery.

The petrol engine automatically switches off when the car is stationary or coasting, which saves fuel and reduces exhaust emissions.

Neither Prius nor Camry Hybrid requires special training to drive - they operate like normal cars.

The blended series-parallel approach of Hybrid Synergy Drive makes more sense to Toyota than the alternatives.

...ends/

back to top 

TOYOTA'S HYBRID MILESTONES


1997

Mar

Unveiling of the Toyota Hybrid System

Dec

Prius launched in Japan

2000

Nov

Cumulative Prius sales top 50,000 vehicles

2001

Dec

Prius launched in Australia

2002

Mar

Cumulative worldwide sales of hybrid vehicles top 100,000

Aug

Cumulative Prius sales top 100,000 vehicles worldwide

2003

Apr

Unveiling of the Toyota Hybrid System II

Sep

Prius completely redesigned

Oct

Second-generation Prius launched in Australia

2004

Jan

Prius wins North American Car of the Year award

Nov

Prius wins European Car of the Year award

2005

Oct

Cumulative worldwide sales of hybrid vehicles top 500,000

2006

Apr

Cumulative Prius sales top 500,000 vehicles worldwide

2007

May

Cumulative worldwide sales of hybrid vehicles top one million

2008

Apr

Cumulative Prius sales top one million worldwide

June

Announcement: Toyota to build Hybrid Camry in Australia

2009

Jan

Third-generation Prius unveiled at North American International Auto Show

May

Prius becomes the best-selling vehicle in Japan (also in June and July)

July

Third-generation Prius launched in Australia

July

Prius sets an all-time monthly sales record in Australia

Aug

Pilot production of Hybrid Camry begins in Australia

 

 



...ends/

back to top 

TEN HYBRID FACTS



1. Hybrid Camry and Prius have specially designed four-cylinder petrol engines working in tandem with an electric motor. The combination boosts performance, reduces fuel consumption and produces fewer emissions.



2. The petrol engine automatically switches off when the car is stationary (such as at traffic lights) or when coasting or travelling downhill.



3. Hybrid Camry and Prius recharge themselves while driving. You never have to plug them into a power point.



4. Energy that would normally be lost when braking or coasting is converted to electricity and stored in a sealed battery, for use when required.



5. Hybrid Camry and Prius can be driven for short distances on electric power only. This is particularly useful in stop-start traffic, for eliminating emissions in your garage and for quiet entry or exit through your neighbourhood.



6. In all other respects, Hybrid Camry and Prius are fully specified normal cars capable of seating five adults comfortably. They drive like regular automatic cars, use unleaded petrol and have large luggage capacities.



7. Toyota has adopted numerous safeguards , including automatic disablement mechanisms to ensure safety in the event of an accident. Prius hybrids have been on Australian roads for eight years and Toyota is not aware of any personal injury related to hybrid or electrical systems.



8. The hybrid battery is designed to last the life of the vehicle. It is kept at an optimum charge level, which gives it an extended life.



9. Toyota is the world leader in hybrid vehicles with sales approaching two million. The one-millionth Prius was sold in April 2008. Total Australian sales of Prius have exceeded 13,000.



10. Toyota is committed to developing hybrid systems as a core technology. Globally, the goal is to reach one million hybrid sales per year during the 2010s. The company's worldwide goal is to approach zero impact on the environment, including vehicles and production. While we can never achieve zero impact, we always strive to do better - and hybrid technology is an important part of that effort.


...ends/


back to top 

TOYOTA SPEECHES


A SPEECH BY MAX YASUDA
President and CEO, Toyota Australia


Good morning.

I would like to acknowledge:
o The Honourable John Brumby, Premier of Victoria.
o Senator, the Honourable Kim Carr, Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.
o The Honourable Martin Pakula, Victorian Minister for Industry, Trade and Industrial Relations.
o My Toyota colleagues.
o Ladies and gentlemen.

Toyota is leading the world in hybrid vehicle technology.

Introducing hybrid technology to our local manufacturing operations is one of the most significant developments in Toyota's 50-year history in Australia.

This has the potential to change the automotive landscape forever.

Toyota has been building cars in Australia since 1963 and is a significant contributor to the Australian economy.

Here, at the Altona Plant, we build both the four-cylinder Camry and the six-cylinder Aurion, for the domestic and overseas markets.

Toyota is Australia's largest automotive exporter. The majority of our production is shipped to markets in the Middle East.

The global financial crisis has severely impacted all aspects of Toyota's operations, both here in Australia, and around the world.

Despite this unprecedented situation, we are still contributing extensively to a sustainable local automotive industry - one that supports jobs, innovation and ultimately a prosperous low-carbon society.
This aligns with Toyota's global strategy to accelerate the roll-out of eco-friendly vehicles.

A practical demonstration of this is the introduction of the new Hybrid Camry here at Altona.

Our plan is to produce at least 10,000 Hybrid Camry vehicles per year for the domestic market and around 300 per year for export to New Zealand.

The strong support of both the Federal and Victorian Governments was a critical factor in our ability to secure the Hybrid Camry for local production.

They helped Toyota Australia to make a convincing business case.

A vital element was the strong desire of both levels of government to introduce new environmentally friendly technology and promote innovation within the Australian automotive industry.

In the absence of that support and commitment, we would not be here today.

In all likelihood, Toyota would have simply imported the Hybrid Camry - and a great opportunity would have been lost to Australian manufacturing.

Fortunately that is not the case, and we will be producing Hybrid Camry right here at Altona.

In this context, I would like to acknowledge the central roles of Premier Brumby and Minister Carr in helping Toyota secure local production of Hybrid Camry.

The introduction of Hybrid Camry satisfies the expectations of Australian consumers for building latest technology hybrid vehicles here in Australia.

In this competitive market, we have responded to the needs of Australian motorists by introducing fuel-saving and environmentally friendly technology as a mainstream option.

Hybrid Camry will deliver around 20 per cent better fuel efficiency compared with the current Camry model.

Toyota has made a significant investment to bring hybrid technology to Australia.

We have introduced new high-tech equipment into many production processes to raise quality even higher, increase productivity and improve logistics.

Several areas throughout this manufacturing facility are completely new or have been totally reconfigured to accommodate hybrid production.

We have re-engineered many of our manufacturing processes to improve ergonomics, specifically for the installation of hybrid components.

Another key part of our investment in Hybrid Camry is the training of our people.

We have sent engineers and team leaders to Toyota plants in Japan, Thailand and the United States And we have brought hybrid experts to Australia from Toyota Japan so we can deeply understand the specific techniques involved in manufacturing a hybrid vehicle.

We have conducted extensive local training of our workforce over many months.

Our engineers have pored over every inch of sample cars from Japan and the United States.

This is fundamental to our goal of "building in" quality and devising the most efficient production method.

Our sister company Toyota Technical Center Australia has also been involved in many of the engineering and design aspects of this vehicle, particularly development of motor generator software and vehicle evaluation for the Australian market.
The 3,200 people here at Altona are already responsible for the best-quality locally built cars.

And very soon, they will add the Hybrid Camry to their list of capabilities.

Toyota is fortunate to have people of the highest calibre -some of whom have joined us this morning.

You can be proud of the Hybrid Camry and I want you to do your absolute best to produce the highest quality car for our customers.

We have also received great support from our suppliers, who understand what it takes to remain at the cutting edge of this business.

We expect their involvement in Toyota's hybrid technology to grow over time.
Toyota is committed to remaining at the forefront of innovation and environmentally friendly technology.

We are also committed to working closely with both the Federal and Victorian Governments to build a strong and thriving automotive industry in Australia.

Thank you very much.

/ends

A SPEECH BY DAVID BUTTNER
Senior executive director sales and marketing, Toyota Australia


Good morning, everyone.

My name's Dave Buttner and, on behalf of Toyota Australia, I'd like to welcome you all to Toyota's manufacturing complex here at Altona.

This morning, we are privileged to be joined by:
o the Premier of Victoria, the Honourable John Brumby MP;
o Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science & Research, Senator the Honourable Kim Carr;
o And Victorian Industry, Trade and Industrial Relations Minister, the Honourable Martin Pakula MLC.

The Premier and Senator Carr are two of the strongest supporters the local automotive industry has ever had - and Minister Pakula has also demonstrated a keen grasp of our business and its ability to be a vital part of the future.

Gentlemen: we are very pleased you could join us today to participate in this historic event - an event which is a concrete example of what our industry can achieve with appropriate policy settings.

Also joining us today are Toyota Australia's President and Chief Executive Officer Max Yasuda and executive director of manufacturing and purchasing Tatsuo Shinozaki.

In the audience, we have team members and management from across our manufacturing operations and other divisions. Welcome to you all.

Today is a red-letter day - or, should I say, a green-letter day, for Toyota, for the local automotive industry and, indeed, for Australia...

...the official start of pilot production for the first hybrid car to be built in Australia, the Hybrid Camry.
Many industry commentators have urged the local industry to build more fuel-efficient cars.

Toyota is already the only local carmaker that builds a four-cylinder car in Australia.

We have produced generation after generation of Camry in Victoria for more than 22 years.

Camry is already the most fuel-efficient car built in Australia.

The petrol-electric Hybrid Camry will raise fuel-efficiency to a new level.

In the pilot production phase for Hybrid Camry, we build a small batch of vehicles to test all of our processes, parts and assembly methods.

Where necessary, we will make improvements before full-scale production begins in December.

This philosophy of continuous improvement or kaizen is standard business practice within Toyota.

The locally built Hybrid Camry will go on sale in February next year.

It will give Toyota the unique advantage in Australia of producing and selling a four-cylinder hybrid family car.

At its heart is technology we call Hybrid Synergy Drive.

The beauty of this technology is that it makes the most efficient use of two power sources - a petrol engine working together with an electric motor.

This enables Hybrid Camry to reduce fuel use and emissions in a wide range of traffic conditions.
The hybrid battery will recharge itself while you're driving.

And Hybrid Camry will even run on the electric motor alone - using no fuel and creating zero emissions - when conditions are appropriate.

As a result, Hybrid Synergy Drive turns Camry into a next-generation, fuel-efficient vehicle.

It will help the environment as well as the hip pockets of Australian motorists.

It will mean fewer trips to the petrol bowser, lower fuel use and reduced running costs for motorists - as well as reduced demand for oil.

The potential savings are enormous.

Last year, Australians bought just over 100,000 large, locally produced six-cylinder cars.

If those motorists had bought a Hybrid Camry instead, they could have saved more than $140 million on fuel alone.

That's in just one year - based on today's petrol price.

At the same time, they could have cut their carbon-dioxide emissions by a staggering 270,000 tonnes - the same amount of CO2 produced by 45,000 households.

Every single family that travels 20,000km a year in a Hybrid Camry can expect to save hundreds of dollars on their annual fuel bill.

Even compared with the most fuel-efficient local large-six petrol competitor, that family will save well over $10 a week - just on fuel...

...And cut their carbon-dioxide emissions from motoring by more than one tonne a year.

The more you drive, the more you save.

For a sales rep travelling 50,000km a year, the savings add up to more than $26 a week on fuel alone and more than two-and-a-half tonnes of carbon dioxide.

These are significant benefits - and they show clearly why hybrid technology is a key part of our motoring future.

In Australia, Toyota is planning to introduce eight new hybrid models in the next four years.

The first is Prius - the third-generation of the world's most popular hybrid car, which has just gone on sale.

Next is the Hybrid Camry, which will arrive in dealerships from February.

Beyond that, we will announce further hybrid models at the appropriate time.

Some will be hybrid versions of existing vehicles; others will be new models entirely.

All this means Toyota's commitment to hybrid is absolute - and the hybrid future definitely includes Australia.

Here in Victoria, we are supported by a government that has worked co-operatively - and fruitfully - to help grow the local auto industry.

This is a government that is fully behind the production of vehicles that help meet the challenges of climate change and a carbon-constrained future.

Thank you very much.

/ends.

back to top 

SENATOR KIM CARR SPEECH


This is a project very dear to my heart.

Labor was sworn in on the 3rd of December 2007, and I had my first discussion with Toyota about bringing hybrid vehicle production to Australia a few days later on the 12th.

This really was one of my highest priorities.

Talks continued into the new year, and on the 10th of June the Prime Minister and Toyota announced that the Hybrid Camry would be built at Altona from 2010.

It was clear then that the very active interest shown by the Commonwealth and our friends in the Victorian Government was instrumental in securing this investment.

If anything, the value of the partnership we have forged with Australia's car and components makers is even clearer now.

The global recession has turned the international automotive sector upside down.

It has compelled the industry to reorganise and reprioritise.

And yet throughout this period of rapid change and deep uncertainty, Australia has continued to attract new investment.

We have maintained our place on the A-list.

There are several reasons for this.

One is the quality of our workforce, whose skills and dedication are second to none.

Another is the quality of Australian design, engineering, research and development - the factors that drive innovation in this industry, as in every other.

Another is the quality of our corporate leadership - not just at Toyota, but also at Holden and Ford.

And then there is the strength of the Commonwealth's commitment to securing high-skill, high-wage jobs for this country by revitalising Australian manufacturing.

The Prime Minister and I flagged that commitment while we were still in Opposition - and as I've already suggested, we have been acting on it since the day we took office.

Toyota's decision to bring production of the Hybrid Camry to Australia was an early indication of the industry's support for the approach we were taking - and I will never forget that.

It confirmed that we were on the right path - a path that led a few months later to A New Car Plan for a Greener Future.

This is the most far-reaching strategy ever produced for the car industry in this country.

It is a strategy to make the industry economically and environmentally sustainable.

It is also very much a strategy for the real world.

A New Car Plan for a Greener Future does not mandate particular technologies.

We are ready to consider any innovation that reduces fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

That's why we are backing the Hybrid Camry.

That's why we offer rebates to people who buy cars with factory-fitted LPG fuel systems.

That's why we are encouraging people to think about things like:

• light-weight materials
• high-tech power-train management systems
• more efficient accessories, and
• new tyre designs to achieve lower rolling resistance.

And that's why I have welcomed the new engines announced by Ford and Holden in recent weeks, which will reduce emissions by up to 15 per cent.

Plug-in electric vehicles will appear over the next few years, and no one denies the promise of this technology.
Yet it will be some time before the problems of cost, charging infrastructure, and suitability for Australian distances are overcome.

A commercially viable hydrogen vehicle is even further away.

Against this background, it makes perfect economic and environmental sense to support refinements to existing technologies that deliver significant gains right here and right now.

That's exactly what the Hybrid Camry does.

Toyota's hybrid platforms have proven themselves both technically and commercially.

This is technology that works, and it is technology that sells.

These are the two conditions that have to be met if you want to make a difference in the real world.

And, starting with today's trial build, Australia becomes one of only five places in the world producing this technology.

To reach this point, Toyota Australia has made significant investments in retooling, retraining and research.

It is building the capabilities Australia needs to produce not just the hybrids of today, but the hybrids, the all electric cars, and the hydrogen-powered vehicles of the future.

It may take us a while to reach that point.

But you never get anywhere if you aren't prepared to take the first step.

back to top 

STATEMENT BY THE PREMIER OF VICTORIA


Toyota has officially started pilot production of the Hybrid Camry at its Altona assembly plant, Premier John Brumby announced today.

Joining Industry and Trade Minister Martin Pakula at the plant to kick start the pilot production, Mr Brumby said the move to build the Hybrid Camry at Altona would help ensure the future of Victorian car manufacturing and secure jobs right through the automotive sector.

"The Victorian Government is taking action to secure the future of the Victorian automotive industry and the construction of the Hybrid Camry in Altona will be a boost for jobs as well as the environment," Mr Brumby said.

"The Government played a key role in securing Altona for the production of the Hybrid Camry and we will continue to support companies that contribute to the state, creating Victorian jobs and stimulating the Victorian economy.

"In discussions with Toyota when I was in Japan last year, we were able to demonstrate that Victoria had the skilled workers that will help Toyota respond to the new realities in the industry bought about by climate change.

"Starting the pilot production now means that Toyota is on schedule to begin volume production of the Hybrid Camry from the beginning of next year.

"This is a major achievement - particularly in the current global economic climate - and a major vote of confidence for Victoria and our economy."

Toyota Australia employs 3,200 people at its Altona plant which produced 141,000 vehicles in 2008 including 101,000 for export markets, generating revenue of $1.5 billion. The Altona plant will manufacture 10,000 Hybrid Camry each year.

Mr Pakula said the first Australian-built hybrid car would be a major boost for Victoria and for the local automotive industry.

"Toyota has re-engineered its manufacturing processes and undertaken an extensive workforce training program to ensure the success of the project in Victoria," Mr Pakula said.

"This project will provide the industry with valuable exposure and experience in this new and fast developing technology.

"In catering for the growing need for fuel efficiency and the desire for environmental sustainability, the vehicle has the potential to stimulate the local market and boost exports, translating into jobs and increased prosperity for all Victorians."

Toyota's commencement of the Hybrid Camry pre-production phase comes on top of Ford Australia's launch of a $230m sustainability initiative and GM Holden's announcement of new fuel efficient V6 engines

back to top