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Toyota Australia's local component suppliers are being encouraged to increase productivity and diversify their business operations to improve their global competitiveness.

For the first time, Toyota Australia will invite two non-automotive manufacturers to its established supplier development forum, the next meeting of which is being held tomorrow. These participants will be Thales Australia and BAE Systems, both of which specialise in building defence vehicles.

Not only will they be able to see how Toyota's suppliers are strengthening their business operations, they will also be able to make contact with relevant suppliers to discuss potential new business relationships.

Barry Budge, Toyota Australia's Corporate Manager responsible for supplier development, said this is an opportunity for local suppliers to demonstrate their capabilities and to diversify their businesses.

"Our suppliers are amongst the most highly skilled advanced manufacturers in this country. One of the key ways our local suppliers can become more sustainable is to diversify their business," Mr Budge said.

"Rather than be reliant on one industry, they may identify additional industries which utilise similar capabilities and develop opportunities to supply parts. For example, companies building defence vehicles may require similar parts to the automotive industry.

"Similarly, there may be companies that are currently importing parts that can easily be made by our local suppliers at a competitive cost.

"If we can facilitate these introductions, our local suppliers can strengthen their businesses and become more efficient. This will lead to a stronger local supplier base, which is critical to Toyota Australia and the future of local manufacturing."

Mr Budge said 20 of Toyota Australia's local suppliers from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia will attend tomorrow's forum. It will be hosted by Chassis Brakes International, who was the recipient of Toyota Australia's 2012 President's Supplier of the Year Award.

In addition to providing an opportunity to meet representatives from Thales Australia and BAE Systems, the forum will allow local suppliers to share ideas for productivity improvement, including continuous improvement processes to transform business operations and respond to challenging conditions.

Toyota Australia has been assisted in its supplier development activities via the Federal Government's Automotive Supply Chain Development Program.


For further information please contact:
Beck Angel
03 9647 4250 or 0421 271 279

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