Thousands of Toyota Australia staff attended closing-down celebrations at the company’s Altona manufacturing plant in October, marking the last shift for 3,000 workers after 54 years of manufacturing in Australia.

Production line workers, supervisors, engineers and managerial staff watched a celebratory parade of various models, including the first locally-built Toyota, the Toyopet Tiara, as well as Celicas, Camrys, Corollas, Coronas, Avalons and Crowns.

Toyota Australia President, Dave Buttner, said the company’s passionate workers would leave a global legacy.

“Thanks to everyone’s longstanding efforts, Toyota became the top automobile manufacturer in Australia, and the vehicles produced here became a byword for quality and reliability not only in Australia but also in the world, as the vehicles were exported to other regions like the Middle East,” he said.

In 1963 Australia became the first country outside Japan to build Toyota cars. The shutdown also makes Australia the first country where Toyota has closed a mass production car and engine factory.

The Altona plant opened in 1994 with the production of the Corolla. The Camry, formerly built in Port

Melbourne, followed in 1995.

The Toyota Community Foundation Australia will contribute to the region, expecting to start with a $32 million (AUD) funding boost to support students in economic difficulty and schools with disadvantaged educational environments.

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