TOYOTA, the last car maker to fall after Australia’s automotive industry spectacularly imploded in the wake of Ford’s 2013 announcement that it would shutter its factories, has posted a strong profit in its final year as a manufacturer.
The Japanese car maker revealed today it made a $137 million after-tax profit for the Japanese financial year ending on March 31, compared with Holden’s $156 million profit last calendar year, and Ford’s $27 million result over the same period as Holden.
However, the brand’s result – a significant improvement over the $99 million it made the previous financial year – would have been much stronger if it did not have the legacy of costs associated with the closure of its Altona-based engine casting and vehicle assembly lines to factor in. The “restructure” of the business from a manufacturer to a full-line importer cost Toyota Australia $147 million, a $16 million rise over what it needed the previous year.
No further details of Toyota Australia’s financial performance were revealed.
Toyota’s lukewarm result came on the back of more than 229,000 Australian sales for the brand, and just 25,791 exports for the locally built Camry mid-size sedan that ended production in early October last year.
"We have now completed our transition to a sales, marketing and distribution business, and the fact that we have been able to increase both local sales and market share shows that our organisation is moving from strength to strength,” Toyota Australia president Matthew Callachor said.
Toyota’s sales dominance in Australia has been bolstered by the Toyota Hilux, which in 2017 took the title of Australia’s best-selling vehicle for the second year running, and the Toyota Corolla, the nation’s best-selling passenger car.