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Local Toyota Designers have Global Impact

March 6th, 2008

Designers and engineers at Toyota Australia are working on global and regional projects as well as future models for Australia, a company executive told a conference in Melbourne today.

Toyota Australia's design chief Paul Beranger said the growing Australian influence was due to the expertise and talent in the local industry.

Mr Beranger told the Design Ready seminar, part of Australian Automotive Week, that other significant factors were Toyota's global business development and strong government support for the automotive sector.

"Toyota Australia has built a talented pool of designers and engineers who are renowned for their innovation and their ability to produce world-class work within extremely tight budgets," Mr Beranger said.

"We are now developing operational relationships and processes with Toyota's design and technical centres throughout the world.

"Toyota has a long-term commitment to local design and engineering - and we have been manufacturing cars in Australia for almost 50 years.

"Australia played a significant role in developing Toyota's Aurion large car, which is manufactured here for domestic sale and for export. It is also produced by Toyota in China, Taiwan and Thailand."

Mr Beranger said local design and engineering expertise had been instrumental in developing Toyota's enhanced-performance TRD models.

"This is an Australian first. We are the only country in the world that is developing and selling vehicles under the TRD banner.

"TRD models feature significant local development, including supercharged engines and sharper steering, handling, braking and styling."

Mr Beranger said Australia had a proud history of automotive design, engineering and manufacturing.

"We have a great balance of vehicle and component manufacturing by companies that have a reputation for innovation and embrace the latest technologies.

"Australians have a can-do attitude and require minimum supervision in the product development process.

"Our vast island continent also provides direct access to a variety of geographic, climatic and other conditions required for exhaustive testing.

"A particular example is the significant local testing for heavy-duty four-wheel-drive vehicles such as LandCruiser."

Mr Beranger cited other local advantages, including economic and political stability, first-class education institutes and an advanced society with diverse cultures.

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