Drive.com.au reports that Toyota has begun production of hybrid cars in Australia - Camry Hybrid production begins in Australia.
Sparks flew this morning as Toyota Australia turned on the robots that will make the country’s first hybrid car based on a Camry.
Dignitaries on hand included Federal Industry Minister Kim Carr and Victorian premier John Brumby both of whom have invested taxpayers funds heavily in order to secure the project.
The Camry, the biggest seller in the medium-sized car category, will receive the equivalent of a heart and lung transplant to accommodate Toyota’s "Synergy Drive" hybrid drivetrain.
It allies an electric motor to a conventional internal combustion four-cylinder petrol engine with sophisticated electronics to charge its onboard battery.
The hybrid Camry, like the Toyota Prius hybrid, can operate on electric power alone, or in tandem with the petrol engine to cut fuel use and emissions.
It’s a high stakes venture to secure the future of the Altona manufacturing plant and its workers and suppliers, which has seen demand slump for its locally-made four-cylinder Camry and six-cylinder Aurion sedans.
Toyota will build a small batch of pre-production vehicles at Altona before beginning full-scale production in December. The car will go on sale in February.