25 October 2017 · Motoring Tips & Advice
The Last Toyota Camry Produced in Australia | Phil Gilbert Toyota
The last Camry
The last Australian Camry to come off the Altona car making plant could have been something like a relatively standard Cherry Red Toyota Camry destined to end up anonymously at a Dealership and bought by a regular buyer who may never have known its significance. Instead, this highly significant 2017 Camry was a custom decorated model that included a very patriotic Aussie flag on the roof and a number plate that read "Last Car." A nice tribute to the history and relationship between brand and country.
A Proud History
Old Toyota models parade on the last day of Toyota’s Altona North factory. Picture: Toyota
Toyota has been producing cars in Australia for five decades, and by 2017, the Japanese motor giant had produced almost 3.5 million vehicles in this country, with two million of them being built at the Altona factory that produced the very last Toyota Camry. Of course, not all the 3.5 million vehicles built by Toyota Motor Corporation Australia were for domestic use. In fact, an impressive 1.3 million of the vehicles built here in Australia were exported to other markets over the years.
Interested to learn more about the history of Phil Gilbert Toyota? We've been part of the Sydney automotive community for 30 years, read a brief history here.
As far as consumers and Toyota dealerships like Phil Gilbert Toyota are concerned, very little will change in the future. The all-new 2018 Camry will be on the way very shortly, and prices will remain as attractive as ever for Australian consumers. Globalization of the car industry means new vehicle production gets more efficient all the time, which is obviously great news for buyers as we rarely see big price increases anymore. For example, in 2007 a Camry Ateva auto cost around $33,000, but today, a decade on, a mid-range Camry Atara S costs from as little as $30,990 and the technology, features and equipment are way better today (as of October 2017).
Toyota has been absolutely incredible by doing everything it possibly can for its Australian workforce. The company made no secret of its plans to move production elsewhere, so plenty of notice was given. On top of that, the company has also been running job search programs for three years and standing all the costs for retraining its workers in the fields they wish to pursue in the future.
The Road Ahead
Tony Ashamalla, who's been the Toyota Altona plant manager for the past six years, explained, "You cannot fault the lengths Toyota has gone to, to get people retrained and get new jobs." He went on to add, " Some people wanted to be a nurse, others wanted to be a pilot, truck driver, (or get into) earthmoving. It cost a lot of money, but the company never knocked anyone back from retraining. They accepted that and helped them retrain and paid their fees."
Close to half the employees now have certificates to work in many different specialised areas, while another large proportion of the workforce is ready to retire anyway. All workers will leave with generous redundancy payouts, which even include discounts on new Toyotas for up to five years or a lifetime, depending how long they've worked for the company.
If you want to get your hands on one of the last Aussie-built Toyota models you’d better move fast. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Phil Gilbert Toyota right away for a great deal on one of the last Aussie-built 2017 Camrys, or to find out more about the upcoming 2018 model's pricing and availability.