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Toyota vows to keep exporting

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Toyota Australia has said it will continue to export, despite the difficult trade conditions imposed by the high Australian dollar. Unveiling a new Camry Atara range this week, senior executive David Buttner said exporting was "an integral part of our production strategy at Altona". "There's no denying that it's a very, very tough environment. You look at the high value of the Australian dollar, you look at our overall cost base, it's a challenging time," Buttner said. "But we've been building vehicles for 50 years in Australia and we made a commitment some time ago to ensure we could sustain that investment." Strong demand in the Middle East for the new Camry model has boosted Toyota's sales overseas. The Camry has a history of success overseas, with 850,000 of the family sedans exported since 1996. The Altona plant, currently undergoing a $300 million upgrade partly funded by the Australian Government, employs 3,200 people. "We like to think that as a large manufacturer in the largest manufacturing sector in Australia we can continue to engage positively with the government, to make sure that our parent company (in Japan) can see an environment where it's appropriate to invest fairly large sums of money."

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