TOYOTA CELEBRATES FIRST EXPORT SHIPMENT OF NEW-GENERATION CAMRY
Toyota Australia has shipped the first of its new-generation Camry from the company's export facility at Webb Dock in Melbourne.
Toyota is expected to retain its position as Australia's number one vehicle exporter by shipping about 80,000 cars during 2006.
The all-new Camry, which is the only four-cylinder car built in Australia, is destined for more than 20 countries, including New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, with the majority going to the Middle East.
Toyota President and CEO, Mr Ted Okada, said the commencement of exports of the new model Camry was the culmination of a $450 million investment in facilities and technologies by Toyota Australia and will support Toyota Australia maintaining its number one vehicle exporter status.
"Toyota Australia is entering one of the most exciting periods in its history of exports in this country," said Mr Okada.
"Overseas demand for the Australian-made Camry is running at record levels and has been buoyed by demand for the all-new Camry, the quality of which is equal to anything in the Toyota world.
"Toyota Australia's export success is attributable to the hard work of our employees, suppliers, transportation companies, shipping companies and port operations and the pursuit of continuous improvement in our levels of quality and cost performance."
More than 90 per cent of Australian Camry exports are left-hand drive vehicles bound for Middle East countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Camry is the top selling Passenger Car in the Middle East.
"The 2006 Export sales projection is about 80,000 vehicles," said Mr Okada.
"This would be a record for any Australian car maker, beating the previous mark of 68,989 vehicles set by Toyota Australia last year."
Increasing demand from export markets has driven increased production and quality at Toyota's modern manufacturing facility at Altona in Melbourne.
The strength of Toyota Australia's export program was shown in May this year when the company celebrated the milestone delivery of its 500,000th export vehicle.
A decade ago, only 20 per cent of cars made at Altona were exported. This year, even with anticipated growth in domestic sales, more than 60 per cent of total production will go to overseas markets.
The production of the new Generation Camry is part of the simultaneous global launch by Toyota Motor Corporation.
"For the first time ever, we were asked to deliver new Camry at the same time as the other major plants around the world," Mr Okada said. "We had to be ready to build a completely new model without the benefit of reviewing the early performance of plants in Japan or the United States.
"With the all-new Camry, we are already seeing the positive result of our efforts. We are inspired by our future and I am confident that this is the best car ever built by Toyota in Australia."
The launch of the new Camry sedan will be followed later in the year with the launch of the Australian built six-cylinder Aurion sedan.
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