Thailand first ASEAN country to build hybrid vehiclesToyota announced that it is to start production of a Camry Hybrid model in Australia and Thailand as part of its on-going efforts to develop the popularity of hybrid vehicles worldwide.
In Australia the new Camry Hybrid will be going into production in 2010 at Toyota Motor Corporation Australia's Altona factory near Melbourne, with an annual target of 10,000 units. In Thailand the center for production is Toyota Motor Thailand's (TMT) Gateway Plant, where the aim is for 9,000 vehicles to be built each year from 2009.
In an Australian Government-sponsored press conference, Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe said: "We decided to build the Camry Hybrid in Australia because Australians are keenly aware of environmental issues, including global warming, and we are confident that the Camry Hybrid will be well received. Toyota intends to make further efforts toward popularizing hybrid vehicles."
The conference was attended by leading members of the Australian Government, including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Speaking in Bangkok today, Mitsuhiro Sonoda, TMT President, said: "Thailand is the first ASEAN country to build hybrid vehicles. As the Camry has received a warm welcome from Thai customers, we are sure they will be satisfied not only with the product, but also with its environmental performance."
Ever since the introduction in 1997 of the Toyota Prius – the world's first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle – Toyota has been making a concerted effort to promote and popularize hybrid technology, as part of its high-priority environmental-management policy.
Toyota aims to sell one million or more hybrid vehicles annually as early as possible in the 2010s and, taking market needs into consideration, is working to put in place an optimal hybrid vehicle production system worldwide.