Toyota australia posts 236 million profit which is its second highest result on record

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TOYOTA Australia has posted a profit of $236 million for the Japanese financial year ended 31 March 2016 — the second year in a row it has finished well into the black, after posting a profit of $194 million the year before.

The stark turnaround from the $437 million loss two years ago is further evidence there is more money in importing cars than manufacturing them locally.

Toyota set aside most of its shutdown costs in the two previous financial years; it will close the Camry factory in Altona on the outskirts of Melbourne in December 2017.

The latest profit result is the second highest result on record for Toyota Australia and only its third profit in seven years.

It is also a better performance than the most recent financial results for Holden ($128.2 million profit) and Ford ($162 million loss).

However, it comes as Toyotas market share continues to be eroded by the growth of second placed Mazda, third placed Hyundai and most of the other Top 10 brands.

Toyota sales were up by a modest 1.3 per cent last year in a market that had grown by 3.8 per cent.

In 2008, Toyotas best sales result on record with 233,983 vehicles delivered, the Japanese brand accounted for 23.6 per cent of all vehicles sold.

Last year that figure slipped to 17.8 per cent after reporting 206,236 sales.

In a media statement, Toyota Australia President Dave Buttner said: Our manufacturing team members are working tirelessly to ensure that our last Camry will be our best one yet. The quality of these vehicles has been at an all-time high and this has assisted us in maintaining strong domestic and export sales.

Last financial year Toyota exported 64,605 Australian-made Camry sedans, mostly to the Middle East, and sold about 27,500 domestically.

It has been extremely pleasing to see our employees continue their dedication and commitment to achieve our company goals. Their ongoing engagement has helped us to achieve these positive results.

Toyota says it revamped almost 70 per cent of its vehicle line-up last year, and plans to refresh more models and introduce new additions to fill the void left when local Camry production ends.

Although Toyota will continue to sell an imported Camry from 2018, analysts have forecast a sales slowdown because true demand for Camry is much lower than the current rate, which has been driven by discounts of up to $8000 per car to keep the Altona production line moving.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling