History

History

Toyota is one of the largest manufacturer of cars in the world, with scores of factories in dozens of countries. Its standing in the automotive world as the most successful and most profitable carmaker is unquestioned.

In sharp contrast, Australia has one of the smallest car industries in the world and while it is one of the oldest, it has never spread its manufacturing wings across the oceans.

And yet Australia has played an important role in the development of the world's largest carmaker over a 50 year period, a length of association no other country outside Japan can match.

It was Australia where today's world car industry leader first tasted success beyond its Japanese domestic market. It was through Toyota Australia that the Japanese company learned many lessons which have underpinned its global success, and it was Toyota Australia that achieved many breakthroughs within the group: first successful LandCruiser exports, first successful production outside Japan, first finance arm to fund dealers' inventory and first exporter of the Camry apart from the parent company itself. It is a proud record which has earned Australia a special place in Toyota's history.

Toyota Australia's origins go back to 1958 when Thiess Brothers began importing the first LandCruiser models for work on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric scheme and sold the first Toyota LandCruiser in 1959. Assembly of Toyota cars began in the Melbourne factory of Australian Motor Industries (later AMI-Toyota) in 1963 and within a decade the Corolla and Corona (replaced by Camry in 1987) were well established in the market.

The commercial vehicle business became Thiess Toyota in 1971 and achieved commercial leadership in 1979. Meantime AMI Toyota began investing in an engine and stamping plant to consolidate its position as a high local content vehicle manufacturer.

In 1988 Toyota's local operations were unified to form Toyota Motor Corporation Australia and work began on restructuring and strengthening the group as a major step towards achieving international competitiveness and building vital export business. Toyota in 1994-95 consolidated vehicle production at its new world-ranking Altona plant in Melbourne.

So after 50 years in Australia, Toyota has grown to be one of Australia's leading automotive companies. In just five decades, this proud organisation has grown from a patchwork of import, sales, distribution and assembly activities into a major force. In doing so, it has overcome great difficulties, brought forth strong leaders, fostered the talents of many Australians and contributed to the social and economic development of this country. It has been supported by loyal employees, customers, dealers, suppliers and has earned the commitment of governments, and many other organisations and individuals in Australia and throughout the world.

Timeline
2011 New Generation Camry launched
2010 Camry Hybrid, the first Australian built Hybrid is released
2009 3rd generation Prius is launched
2008 Toyota announces Australian Camry Hybrid production from 2010
Toyota Australia achieves all-time sales record - 238,983 vehicles
2007 New TRD Aurion launched in Australia
Tenth-generation Corolla launched in Australia
New export record - 97,688 vehicles
2006 New Generation Camry is launched in Australia
Presenting partner 2006 Commonwealth Games
Shipped 500,000th export vehicle
2005 Toyota Australia builds the world's 10 millionth Camry
The Yaris is launched in Australia, Replacing the Echo
2004 Two millionth locally built Toyota produced
New corporate headquarters in Port Melbourne opened
2003 Toyota Australia's 300,000th vehicle exported
Toyota overall Australian market leader with industry record sales of 186,370 vehicles
2001 The hybrid petrol/electric Prius launched in Australia
100,000th Camry exported to Saudi Arabia
2000 Avalon production commences at Altona
Toyota Australia appointed as national Daihatsu distributor
New National Sales and Marketing headquarters opened in Sydney
1999 Victorian Parts Distribution Centre opened at Altona
1998 Altona plant receives ISO 14001 certification (Environmental Management)
1996 First Camry export shipments to the Middle East
1995 Camry enters production at Altona
1994 Corolla is first car built at the new Altona Assembly Plant
Camry is the last car built at Port Melbourne
1992 One millionth locally-built Toyota produced
1991 Toyota becomes Australian overall market leader
1990 Lexus LS 400 launched in Australia
1987 Camry replaces Corona at Port Melbourne Assembly Plant
1981 Altona begins volume production of body panels
1978 First engines built at Altona
1968 Corolla assembly begins at Port Melbourne
1967 Crown assembly starts
1964 Corona assembly begins
1963 Toyota Tiara assembly starts
1959 First Toyota LandCruiser sold in Australia
1958 First 13 LandCruisers imported for use on Snowy Mountains Scheme