Toyota Altona factory to make 100 voluntary redundancies
TOYOTA Australia will make up to 100 voluntary redundancies at its Altona manufacturing plant due to dropping export orders.
The car company, which looks to be the most steadfast of the three current Australian car makers, said the decision was in response to dropping export orders.
News of the cuts follows Ford's decision to cease Australian manufacturing in 2016. Holden's long-term Australian production future is also in the balance due to slowing Commodore sales, a high Aussie dollar and an expensive labour workforce compared to overseas.
While the exact number of voluntary redundancies will be determined by how many applications are received, Toyota said there will not be forced sackings.
Toyota Australia said exports make up about 70 per cent of total production volume, with the company expected to build approximately 104,000 Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion sedans this year.
The workplace adjustment will align with a decrease in production volume to match market demand as the number of cars built each day reduces from 470 to 431 vehicles.
President and CEO Max Yasuda said it was a difficult decision to make, but it is vital if the company wants to move towards global competiveness.
"Our employees are our greatest asset, so it is with extreme sadness that we have to adjust our workforce," Mr Yasuda said.
"As a manufacturer we are subject to fluctuating orders from our domestic and export markets, so we need to have the flexibility to respond to changes in conditions.
"We will now be working closely with all of our employees to ensure they understand why we have made this decision and support them during this difficult period."
Mr Yasuda said the company is currently embarking on a transformation journey to improve its long-term manufacturing viability in this country.
"Everyone at Toyota Australia is working extremely hard to ensure our long term manufacturing future in Australia," he said.
"In the lead up to 2018 we need to reduce the cost of each of our locally built vehicles by $3800.
"Although we have made progress, we are now seeing gaps in our plans that must be closed to secure investment for the next generation vehicle and to maintain our export program.
"This decision making process has started, so we must show our parent company that we are not only achieving our targets, but that we have the relevant plans in place to achieve them right up until 2018.
"This is why everyone at Toyota Australia is working incredibly hard to find new plans and initiatives tocontribute to achieving our targets as we move towards being globally competitive."
Mr Yasuda said expressions of interest for the voluntary redundancies will be open to all permanent manufacturing direct employees.
The nominated employees will leave Toyota Australia from November 29. About 2500 people currently work at the Altona manufacturing plant.