SYDNEY—More than 2,500 people have been left without jobs after Toyota announced it would close its manufacturing plant in Melbourne’s west in Australia.
Toyota said its total staff in Victoria would drop from around 4,000 to 1,300 people when it stops manufacturing and moves its workforce to the CBD.
In a statement, the company said it would stop building the Aurion model in August, Camry Hybrids in September and Camry petrol models in October.
Dave Buttner, president of Toyota Australia, said employees would be supported to prepare for the future.
“We remain extremely proud of our rich manufacturing history which spans over 50 years,” Buttner told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Wednesday.
“Our employees are committed to producing vehicles of the highest quality as we work towards our goal of last car equals best global car.”
The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) said the announcement actually came as relief for a lot of staff after years of uncertainty though they would struggle to compete with the 40,000 people employed by the broader industry.
“They can now get on with their lives and organize around a date, they know when they’ll be leaving the plant, so for many of them in a very bad circumstance, it is a positive,” the AMWU’s Dave Smith told the ABC.
“There’s going to be so many people coming onto the jobs market at the same time.
“The company has put in a support program… But at the end of the day you can provide all the training in the world, but there’s got to be jobs there to go to.”
Toyota will join Ford and Holden in shutting down its Australian manufacturing in recent years.