Toyota Australia Engine Plant Moving To Thailand After 2017

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Sources close to Toyota say the engine plant in Altona, Australia will likely be relocated to Siam Toyota Manufacturing in Thailand once the automaker ceases Australian manufacturing operations in 2017.

GoAuto reports that while the company hasn’t officially announced what will happen to the $331 million AUD engine plant thus far, executives inside Toyota Australia have Thailand in mind as a potential new home for some of the tooling currently in use. The factory exports 16 percent of its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines to Thailand and Malaysia for fitment in Camry and Camry Hybrid models.

Another reason for the move to Thailand? While Toyota Australia builds 100,000 Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion models annualy — 70 percent for export markets, such as the Middle East — Toyota Thailand builds 880,000 units annually, exporting a wide range of vehicles to Australia and Association of Southeast Asian Nations — or ASEAN — member states. Furthermore, a free trade agreement between the two countries means vehicles, such as the HiLux and the Corolla, from Thailand enter Australian ports duty-free.

The plant, partially funded by a $63 million AUD contribution from Australia’s Green Car Innovation Fund and opened at this time last year, will close halfway through its expected lifespan of 10 years in 2017, shedding 2,500 jobs with thousands more down the local supply chain in the process.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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22 of 23 comments
  • Brawndo Brawndo on Feb 21, 2014

    It's been an ugly couple of months for Australia with announced closures coming from GM, Ford, Toyota and now Alcoa as well.

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    • GoCougs GoCougs on Feb 22, 2014

      @Big Al from Oz There is a ton of risk in relying heavily on ag and natural resources; you're at the whim and fancy of social/political/environment fads and it does not foment (and actually counters) seeds of innovation and value creation. Australia could compete building cars and engines, if it weren't for its highly unfavorable business environment; esp. taxes, labor and regulation.

  • Aquineas Aquineas on Feb 21, 2014

    Yeah, I kinda feel sorry for Australia; one of my favorite places in the world.

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    • U mad scientist U mad scientist on Feb 22, 2014

      @GoCougs > Do you ever read the content of what you comment on? That's why my replies address what they're replying to. OTOH your comments are almost exclusively "durr, I like free trade" followed by the same 10 claims and seem to attached to other comments at random, so people tend to wonder.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Feb 21, 2014

    Crikey mate! Dey terk errr jobs!

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 21, 2014

    It's sad to see these jobs go. It appears the manufacturer's have received the message, Australia will not subsidise employment or industry. At least our industry is rationalising with structure and not like the Europeans and even the US, where overnight many lose their jobs as plants shut down. This again highlights problems confronting other advanced economies. 1. The countries that are subsidising, what will happen when the governments can't afford to support 'industrial welfare'. 2. How competitive are our labour intensive consumer industries and are they sustainable. I would also like to see what vehicles Australians do buy as Falcon, Commodore and Camry replacements. I would think small to medium sedans, small to medium CUVs and of course diesel midsize dual cabs.

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    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Feb 23, 2014

      @Big Al from Oz Interesting and informative. Especially the part of "and you have money in the bank". Maybe that's why so many people in America keep their money in their proverbial mattress. Others keep it in a gun safe, like I do. But I guess you have to have accumulated money to begin with. If you don't have it, you can't stash it away, or otherwise keep it out of sight. I am coming around to seeing the wisdom of keeping one's wealth out of plain sight of the authorities, something that many Americans already knew and applied to their own lifestyles long before I got wise.