Filed under: SUV , Etc. , Lexus , Toyota , Australia , Diesel Australian consumers appear poised to get another diesel-burning luxury SUV in the near future, and word is it’s coming from Lexus , of all automakers. Sean Hanley, chief executive of the company’s branch in Oz, recently told Aussie website Drive that he’s “pretty confident” that the new engine for the LX is getting the green light. Like in the US, the LX in Australia is currently only offered with a 5.7-liter, gasoline-burning V8. However, sales of the big SUV are presently minuscule Down Under, with Drive reporting just 153 LX570s sold in all of Oz last year. Hanley is negotiating with Japan to get the new diesel in hopes of boosting flagging sales. If his efforts are successful, it would be the first diesel engine offered in a Lexus there. Hanley didn’t specify exactly which mill the SUV would get. However, given the LX’s close relationship with Toyota Land Cruiser , the diesel 4.5-liter twin-turbo V8 already available in the Toyota in markets outside of North America seems like a natural choice. Don’t expect the variant to be hopping across the Pacific, though.
Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Australia There is more bad news for the Australian auto industry today, as Toyota has just announced that it will follow General Motors and Ford in shuttering its manufacturing operations on the continent. Production and assembly will cease by the end of 2017, but Toyota will remain in Australia as a sales and distribution company. “We did everything that we could to transform our business, but the reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia,” said Toyota Australia President and CEO Max Yasuda. In an official statement , Yasuda said that the closure would directly affect 2,500 manufacturing employees and an unknown number of corporate workers. However, a report in the Australian newspaper The Age suggests that the jobs of 24,000 workers at Australian auto suppliers could also be in jeopardy. Toyota currently builds its Camry , Camry Hybrid , Aurion sedans in Australia, along with four-cylinder engines, and it plans to begin importing the Camry and Aurion after production stops. The plight of the Australian auto industry took a sharp turn for the worse last May when Ford announced that it would end Australian production in 2016. GM revealed its plans in December to stop building Down Under in 2017. In less than a year, the country has lost all three of its remaining domestic automakers ( Mitsubishi stopped building cars in AU back in 2008). Questions whether Toyota would stay arose soon after GM’s news.
Filed under: Toyota , UAW/Unions , Australia The 2011 labor negotiations between the United Auto Workers and the Detroit Three have been a relatively quiet affair so far, but the story is a bit different on the other side of the globe. Toyota and the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union aren’t seeing eye to eye, which has lead to a strike at facilities in Melbourne and Sydney. Well, most of the union’s rank and file are striking. Australia’s The Age reports that 400 of the 3,300 workers have crossed the picket line and returned to work building Camry and Aurion models, and union members are less than thrilled. In fact, striking workers have been less than subtle in threatening those 400 workers, issuing letters calling the line-crossers “f— scabs,” and adding “we know where you live.” The threats have not been well-received by union management, with national secretary Dave Smith issuing a statement saying that there was no place for threats and intimidation at work. Still, the line-crossing workers have to feel less than safe after receiving threats like “payback is a bitch three-fold” and “we know what car you drive.” Workers are striking for a 12 percent raise over three years. Toyota has offered an 11 percent raise over 39 months split into four installments. You can check out Toyota’s official response to the strike in a statement available after the jump . Continue reading Toyota AU workers threatened for unwillingness to strike Toyota AU workers threatened for unwillingness to strike originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 16 Sep 2011 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .