Hybrid Camry May Be Produced in Australia
In our latest editorial on Australia's tanking car industry, I noted that a government report emphasizes future production of large vehicles with green powertrains. The Australian reports that the Aussie government's half-billion dollar green car manufacturing fund could be used to lure production of the next-generation Toyota Camry hybrid down under. Toyota Australia VP Dave Buttner says ToMoCo had been pushing to build a hybrid car here for five years but "policies conducive to investment" (a.k.a. public money) were vital to the plan. The plan seems to convenient to avoid: Aussie politicians get to check of the box next to "build large, green cars" on their bureaucratic checklists, and Toyota gets enough money to offset Australia's high labor costs and strong currency. Oh, and Toyotas actually sell well in the land of Oz as well, especially the Prius, who's sales rose 63 percent last year. So who loses out in all of this? Just Toyota's competitors and Australia's taxpayers.