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Australian PM, Toyota in car production negotiations

Posting in Transportation
 
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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is pulling out the stops to convince Toyota to remain as a car manufacturer in the country.

After Holden, a General Motors subsidiary, said it would stop manufacturing cars in Australia by 2017, the government flew into action. If Holden vanishes -- after citing a strong Australian dollar and high manufacturing costs -- that leaves only Toyota -- and according to the automaker, this has put "unprecedented pressure" on its ability to make cars in the country.

Speaking to Channel Nine, Abbott said that the government will be talking to Toyota, and officials "want Toyota to continue."

If Toyota leaves, the Australian government suffers through a loss of tax revenue as well as the sudden unemployment of thousands of Toyota employees. Abbott added:

"They are in a slightly different position to Holden. Much more of their local production has been for export. Toyota locally have been much more integrated into the global operations of the company, it seems, than with Holden."

This year, Ford also announced that it would stop manufacturing in Australia. As the Australian dollar has risen almost 30 percent over the American dollar, it is often cheaper for citizens to import their vehicles, causing profit margins for automakers to suffer in recent years.

Via: BBC

Image credit: Toyota

— By on December 12, 2013, 6:10 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure