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Toyota Motor manufacturing factory in Mississippi, USA.
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Megafactories: Toyota Australia Chapter 1
150,000 Vehicles Per Annum Production Capacity
2,500 Team Members
50 Years Australian Manufacturing
7 Astounding Plants
1 Toyota Megafactory
After manufacturing vehicles in Australia for 50 years, it's no surprise
Toyota has grown to be Australia's leading automotive company.
Toyota Australia has just revealed a new state-of-the-art engine plant
built to produce AR hybrid engines for local and export markets, one of
only five engine plants of its kind. But getting there was no mean feat -
and National Geographic Channel was there to capture the journey.
The National Geographic Channel reveals the science, technology and
behind-the-scenes stories that have enabled the company to produce some of
the most innovative vehicles in the world.
From the drawing board to the open road, witness as a stunning
transformation takes place under the hands of skilled technicians,
cutting-edge technology and superior craftsmen.
Toyota Australia Powertrain Department Manager, Mark Taylor, said "I can
honestly say I love my job. I couldn't think of a better place to work and
I'm rapt Toyota is featuring on Megafactories."
National Geographic Channel airs documentary about Toyota's local car
Toyota's vehicle manufacturing plant in Altona, west of Melbourne, is the
subject of a new episode of National Geographic's Megafactories TV series.
The episode in question went to air last night and will be seen again
tonight on Foxtel. To date the series has focused on prestige brands or
high-volume manufacturing capacity -- among them Lamborghini, Caterpillar,
Winnebago, Porsche, John Deere, Harley-Davidson and the Swiss Army Knife.
The Altona plant -- actually seven distinct facilities on a 75 hectare site
-- is a marvel of vertical integration in a small market, and has been
established around an outward-looking (export-driven) business model.
40,000 tonnes of steel are set aside each year for the initial panel
stamping, according to Toyota, and engine castings require 600kg of
aluminium throughput every 30 minutes. Each of the 100,000 or so cars built
each year in Altona represents a parcel of 13,000 parts and 1.7km of
wiring. The 2500 workers in the plant carry out 237 separate processes to
create a car from an amalgam of components -- and the human workers are
complemented by the 280 welding robots that call the plant home.
But what makes the Altona plant special is the place it occupies in the
Toyota world, according to Chris Harrod, Toyota Australia executive
director, manufacturing and purchasing.
"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," he was quoted saying in a press
"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 "provides an inside view of the Toyota world most people
will never see first-hand - the innovation and technology behind our Altona
'megafactory'," says Harrod.
"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."
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