Toyota Australia’s factory in Altona, Victoria state, recently was nominated to build the ’10 millionth’ Camry – a four-cylinder Altise version.
The milestone car was presented to Commonwealth Games ambassador and Women’s NBA basketball star Lauren Jackson and is the first of up to 1,500 vehicles that will be delivered to the games over the coming months.
The games start in Melbourne in March 2006 and Toyota Australia is ‘official’ vehicle supplier.
Toyota Australia president and chief executive officer Ted Okada said the 10 millionth Camry was a significant milestone for the company.
“We feel very honoured to claim the 10 millionth Camry built worldwide as our own. For us, it highlights the growing role that Australia is playing in the world’s most successful car company,” Okada said.
Altona is one of 10 plants worldwide building the Camry and second only to the United States in terms of production capacity outside Japan.
It was the first plant outside Japan to build the Camry – starting in the late 1980s – and is the top overseas plant in terms of quality, according to internal Toyota audits.
Australia is also the second biggest market for the model.
Altona also exports left-hand drive Camry models to the Middle East and expects to ship a record 69,000 cars this year. Right-hand drive versions are also sent abroad, most go to neighbouring New Zealand.
Okada said the Camry’s success was the foundation of Toyota Australia’s growing influence in the global corporation.
“The success we’ve had with producing and exporting Camry has won Australia a great amount of respect from Japan,” he added.
“As a result, Australia is now one of Toyota’s global hubs for design and engineering expertise. Our engineers and designers have an increasing input into future global models for the company.”
Australian-built Toyota Camrys are checked after arriving in the Middle East