Toyota has announced that it’s cutting 350 jobs at its plant in Altona.
Toyota, which employs around 4,700 people in Australia, had seen vehicle production drop 36% in four years, from 149,000 in 2007 to an expected 95,000 in 2012.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union says it’s shocked that the company is planning compulsory redundancies.
Max Yasuda, president and chief executive of Toyota Australia said,”Toyota Australia is facing severe operating conditions resulting in unsustainable financial returns due to factors including the strong Australian currency, reduced cost competitiveness and volume decline, especially in export markets”
Manufacturing Minister Kim Carr said the latest layoffs were an “unfortunate consequence of the high dollar and global uncertainty”.
Toyota shares declined 0.3 percent to 2,720 yen at the close in Tokyo trading, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average was little changed.
“The harsh reality of the continuing strong Australian dollar means that Toyota’s export markets are under severe pressure and they are struggling to sell enough cars to keep the Altona line at full capacity,” Carr said.