NatGeo to screen a documentary about Toyota Australia’s manufacturing process


A documentary featuring the building process behind Toyota’s car production would be shown on National Geographic Channel this month, to coincide with the car maker’s 50th anniversary of manufacturing in Australia.

Toyota workers celebrate production of the three-millionth Toyota in Australia, a Camry Hybrid (Camry hL model shown).
Toyota workers celebrate production of the three-millionth Toyota in Australia, a Camry Hybrid (Camry hL model shown).

Executive director for manufacturing and purchasing Chris Harrod said the documentary, which is the first of its type produced in Australia, explains how the company was able to successfully build more than three million Toyota cars in the country, including one million which have been exported.

“Australia was the first country in the western world where Toyota made an investment in manufacturing – a move that played a crucial role in Toyota becoming the world’s number one carmaker,” Harrod said.

“Building cars in Australia exposed the Japanese company to a vastly different culture and enabled it to learn many lessons that underpinned global success as it moved into the United States and Europe.

“Today, Toyota is the leading automotive company in the world and we have been the top-selling car company in Australia for the past decade.

“In addition, we are the only vehicle manufacturer in Australia building a hybrid car and late last year we opened a new engine plant at Altona, one of only five of its kind in the world.”

The documentary, which will be an episode on the channel’s Megafactories, will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the technology and innovation that drives the passion of more than 2,500 Australians to produce a hundred thousand Toyota cars and four-cylinder petrol and hybrid engines a year, both for markets within the country and abroad.

According to the media release the episode will cover the car-building process “from the initial stamping of panels, using 40,000 tonnes of steel a year, through to final assembly where each car undergoes 237 processes involving close to 13,000 parts and 1.7km of wiring.”

Part of the manufacturing process also includes 280 robots that act like a synchronised mechanical army and the casting of engines using 600kg of aluminium every 30 minutes.


Harrod said the Megafactories program showcased Australian pride in manufacturing world-class cars.

“It provides an inside view of the Toyota world most people will never see first-hand – the innovation and technology behind our Altona ‘megafactory’.

“What’s clear is the passion and the commitment of everyone involved in producing Camry, Camry Hybrid, Aurion and four-cylinder engines for local and export customers,” he said.

Melbourne-based company WTFN is the producer of Toyota Australia Megafactories documentary. The episode premieres at 7.30pm April 8 on Foxtel’s National Geographic Channel and will also be screened on April 9 (twice), 12, 14 and 15.

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