Toyota Australia will stop production of the Avalon at the end of June 2005 to begin preparations for a range of new locally produced passenger sedans scheduled for release in 2006.

A spokesman said Toyota was committed to having a strong presence in the Australian large car market with locally made models.

Throughout its life, the Avalon - essentially the first-generation US model on a locally adapted Camry platform - has averaged 770 deliveries a month.

The spokesman said the next year was essential in preparing the Altona manufacturing plant for the new models in 2006.

"The partial reduction of production capacity in 2005 is intended to prepare for a seamless changeover," he said.

"The new model will be manufactured to even more modern and stringent standards than are currently employed at our Melbourne plant and the preparation time will accommodate the introduction of a new body welding technique.

"The forecast increase in volume achieved with the 2006 models and beyond will more than compensate for pause in production."

Australian Avalon production began in April 2000. 41,357 have been sold there to date and 996 have been shipped to New Zealand.

The model line was given a facelift in September 2003.