Australia: New vehicle sales are estimated to reach 1 million again in 2010
Toyota and Ford to produce environmentally friendly engines while Holden to manufacture Cruze compac
Sales volume of vehicles in Australia surpassed 1 million-mark for the two consecutive years in 2007 and 2008 and remained at the level of 940,000 in 2009, due to the effect of the government's tax reduction for purchase of vehicles for business use despite the continuing recession in the economy. In the January-November period of 2010, sales volume amounted to 950,000, which is expected to surpass 1 million-mark for the full year for the first time in two years.
In Australia, sales of import vehicles increased, which accounted for more than 80% of the domestic sales volume in 2007 and after. Production volume of vehicles in Australia (including vehicles made by Mitsubishi, which withdrew from local production in Australia in March 2008) declined from 320,000-330,000 in 2007-2008 to slightly more than 220,000 in 2009 (production in January-November 2010 remained at 226,000, or up by 11.0%).
The Australian government announced a plan in which it will reduce tariffs for import vehicles from 10% in 2005-2009 to 5% as planned in January 2010, while it will provide $6.2 billion (Australian dollars)(All dollars in the following are Australian dollars) for the development and production of eco cars by 2020 (announced in November 2009). It intends to maintain the development and production structure for vehicles in Australia by enhancing export competitiveness.
Under these circumstances, three OEMs that manufacture vehicles in Australia are planning to utilize the Australian government's Green Car Innovation Fund (some of the above $6.2 billion) to develop and produce eco cars and engines.
In December 2009, Toyota started production of Camry Hybrid. It will also produce a new 4-cylinder 2400cc engine with improved environmental performance and fuel economy starting in the second half of 2012, supplying the product to its production facilities in the ASEAN region. Ford will manufacture an in-line 6-cylinder 4000cc engine which meets Euro Ⅳ emission standard and a 4-cylinder 2400cc Ecoboost engine. As for finished vehicles, Holden will begin local production of the Cruze compact car in 2011, whereas Ford withdrew its plan to produce the Focus locally, which it had announced in 2007. Ford will supply the model from a new plant that it will construct in Thailand.