Auto Industry News
Toyota Australia Closes its TRD Division
December 19th, 2008
Toyota Australia has announced it's closing its TRD performance brand.
TRD will cease from March 31, 2009.
The decision has been made as a result of an on-going review of the vehicle conversion activity.
The review's conclusion has been amplified by the world economic downturn and the need to achieve significant operational efficiencies.
"Toyota has a responsibility to ensure its core business activities, and the people who rely on them, are protected for the long term," said David Buttner, senior executive director Toyota Australia.
Toyota has delivered 888 TRD vehicles (to November 30, 2008), 537 TRD Aurion and 351 TRD HiLux.
The Australian-designed and built TRD had been five years in planning.
The first vehicle, TRD Aurion, was launched 16 months ago, followed by TRD HiLux.
"Toyota made a significant financial commitment to TRD vehicle conversion and clearly understood short-term profitability was unlikely," Mr Buttner said.
"However, the perspective has changed for business globally and those new rules require tough decisions for the greater good.
"This is one of those decisions.
"With the realities of the financial crisis and the downturn in consumer confidence, companies worldwide have an overriding responsibility to do their utmost to conserve cash - and Toyota is doing just that," Mr Buttner said.
Mr Buttner said all TRD owners would be covered by Toyota's new-vehicle warranty and the company would guarantee the continuing supply of parts to meet its legal obligations.
Every TRD component is a registered Toyota part.
All seventeen Toyota employees involved in the TRD operation will be redeployed within Toyota.
Mr Buttner said TRD had been a valuable project in developing and proving expertise within Toyota Australia.
"The decision to move TRD's focus from vehicle conversion was made with the best interest of its customers and its network in mind.
"In the current circumstances the decision is correct and the outcome will be positive."
Toyota Australia will lead the overall Australian automotive market for the sixth successive year in 2008.
Annual sales figures to be released in January are expected to reveal customer demand for Toyota and trust in its core product range are at record levels.