Toyota Australia has announced today that up to 100 voluntary redundancies will take place in its Altona plant in response to the drop in export orders, rendering the current size of its manufacturing workforce unsustainable.
The nominated employees will finish work at the plant on November 29, 2013, Friday. Approximately 2,500 people currently work at the Altona manufacturing plant.
The company’s President and CEO Max Yasuda said it was a difficult decision to make but is vital if Toyota Australia wants to grow toward global competitiveness.
“Our employees are our greatest asset, so it is with extreme sadness that we have to adjust our workforce,” Mr. Yasuda said.
“As a manufacturer we are subject to fluctuating orders from our domestic and export markets, so we need to have the flexibility to respond to changes in conditions.”
According to the press release, the reduction in workforce will be aligned with a decrease in production volume to match market demand, lowering the number of cars manufactured each day from 470 to 431.
There will be no compulsory redundancies and the exact number of jobs that will be lost shall be based on the number of applications received and the skill-set of those employees.
“We will now be working closely with all of our employees to ensure they understand why we have made this decision and support them during this difficult period,” said Mr. Yasuda.
Exports make up approximately 70 per cent of Toyota Australia’s total production volume and Yasuda said they are working hard to secure the company’s long-term manufacturing future in Australia. He said the car maker needs to reduce the cost of each locally built vehicle by $3,800 by 2018.
“Although we have made progress, we are now seeing gaps in our plans that must be closed to secure investment for the next generation vehicle and to maintain our export program,” he shared.
“This decision making process has started, so we must show our parent company that we are not only achieving our targets, but that we have the relevant plans in place to achieve them right up until 2018.”
Applications for voluntary redundancies will be open to all permanent manufacturing direct employees, according to the company.