Toyota Australia on Tuesday confirmed it would begin manufacturing the hybrid Camry sedan for the domestic market and the model was also confirmed for Thai production a year earlier.

As just-auto reported yesterday, Japan's Nikkei newspaper had said Toyota would add Camry hybrid output to existing plants in Australia and Thailand, beginning later this year.

Toyota Australia on Tuesday confirmed it would begin manufacturing the hybrid Camry sedan for the domestic market at a rate of 10,000 units a year at its Altona plant from the beginning of 2010 and the model was also confirmed for Thai production at a rate of 9,000 a year from 2009.

Speaking in Bangkok, Mitsuhiro Sonoda, Toyota Motor Thailand president, said: "Thailand is the first ASEAN country to build hybrid vehicles. As the Camry has received a warm welcome from Thai customers, we are sure they will be satisfied not only with the product, but also with its environmental performance."

Australian media had earlier this year said there had been some doubt Toyota would give local hybrid output the nod due to uncertainties over current import tariff reviews and other matters affecting the domestic auto industry.

But Toyota Motor Corporation president Katsuaki Watanabe reported the decision to introduce hybrid manufacturing to Australia to Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd at a meeting in Nagoya, Japan earlier on Tuesday.

An Australian report said the drivetrain would be imported from Japan though there was a chance of some local content later.

"We decided to build the Camry hybrid in Australia because Australians are keenly aware of environmental issues including global warming, and we are confident that the [model] will be well received. Toyota intends to make further efforts toward popularising hybrid vehicles." Watanabe said.

The 10,000 hybrid Camry vehicles a year for the domestic market will add to current output of existing four-cylinder Camry and six-cylinder Aurion vehicles from the Altona plant located in Melbourne's west.

The hybrid Camry is currently produced in Japan and the United States. Toyota also builds its hybrid Prius in China.

Toyota Australia president and CEO Max Yasuda said he was delighted to have secured production of Australia's first local hybrid, believing that customers would welcome its introduction.

A local trade media report said the company had secured A$35m from the new Labour federal government's Green Car Fund to build the Camry hybrid but there was some confusion over how much that had affected Toyota's decision, which, officially, according to a statement from the automaker, was "the culmination of an intensive study conducted during the past year which included discussions with the federal and Victorian state governments".

The reports added there would also be some state support and that the federal government would buy about 2,000 of the new cars.

"We acknowledge that the federal and Victorian governments have a strong desire to see new, environmentally friendly technologies introduced to Australia," Toyota said.

"Both governments continue to provide strong support to the Australian automotive industry and can share in this historic announcement which is positive for Toyota, local car manufacturing and the Australian community," Yasuda said.

Toyota Australia is Australia's largest car manufacturer and market leader. This year, the company celebrated production of 2.5m vehicles and in 2007 exported a record 98,000 vehicles to more than 20 countries, mainly in the Middle East.