Toyota Australia Announces End to Altona Manufacturing, Office Relocation for White Collar Employees by 2017

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Automaker Toyota is based in Japan and has plants all over the world, but the company’s Australian headquarters are headed for major job cuts after a proposed relocation.

Toyota has announced that it will move its head office from Sydney to Melbourne in 2017. Many of the jobs that were supposed to go with the move, however, will be cut ahead of schedule.

The current total workforce for Toyota Australia is 3,900, but after the cuts the number will go down to just 1,300 — exactly one-third the original figure. Many employees with white collar jobs will be forced to move interstate.

The biggest cuts will take place among the company’s manufacturing division, which currently consists of 2,500 of the total workforce. The announcement was a severe disappointment for those who wanted manufacturing jobs to stay in Victoria.

In February, Toyota announced that it would close its Camry factory in Altona, resulting in the loss of those 2,500 jobs. The company plans to level the current facility in Altona and rebuild it to serve warehousing and staff training functions.

Prior to the announcement, Ford and Holden, an Australian carmaker, announced that they would be shutting down production in the country, as well.

David Buttner, Toyota’s Australian president, said that the move to Melbourne would increase efficiency and reduce operating costs for the company.

“The intention is that the relocation will be aligned to the end of manufacturing,” Buttner said, “and we will encourage Sydney-based employees to move to Melbourne.”

In 2013, Toyota sold approximately 215,000 cars in Australia, or an average of 1,000 cars per dealership in the country, making them the top seller in the country. During the first nine months of 2014, the company maintained its lead in sales worldwide with a record 7.615 million vehicles sold — a 3% increase from 2013.

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