TRD To Cease Australian Operations From March 2009

Tony O'Kane | Dec 19, 2008

Bummer: Toyota Australia’s performance arm TRD will stop building vehicles from March 31 2009, with Toyota’s top brass determining the niche brand to be unviable in these dark economic times.

TRD only managed to sell 888 vehicles during its sixteen month presence in Aussie showrooms, 537 of which were TRD Aurions and 351 being TRD Hiluxes. High sales were never really anticipated by Toyota Australia, but as senior executive director David Buttner explains worsening financial outlooks forced the company to drop the brand.

"Toyota made a significant financial commitment to TRD vehicle conversion and clearly understood short-term profitability was unlikely," Mr Buttner said.

"However, the perspective has changed for business globally and those new rules require tough decisions for the greater good. This is one of those decisions.”


Vehicle conversions will continue up until the March 31 shut-down date, after which the seventeen employees currently at the TRD conversion facility will be reassigned to other Toyota departments. Existing TRD Aurion and Hilux owners need not be worried by the announcement either, as Toyota Australia will continue to honour new-car warranties on their vehicles and will maintain spare parts stocks in its inventory.

We hope that when things improve Toyota returns with a local performance arm. With time, and more development, we could have seen a real TRD scorcher.

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Filed under: Toyota, Latest News, australia, 2009, hilux, aurion, News, TRD, toyota racing development, trd aurion

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  • Tony D says,
    7 years ago
    Ugh. They churn out two lame cars and that's it, shows over? Do they even import Japanese TRD go-fast bits for the local market? The catalogue of stuff they do is HUGE if you look at the Japanese and American sites. Where's the TRD Corolla/Sportivo (it's not like TRD don't make parts for them already)? Do what they did to the rally car and slap the 4cyl turbo and AWD system from the GT4 Celica into the Corolla, not put some macho lipstick on the pig of a Hilux...
  • Kezza says,
    7 years ago
    I figured that a brand like Toyota would understand the importance of reliability, both in their product and their branding. TMCA fought long and hard with TMC Japan to be able to launch the TRD brand here and now they're just going to piss it away that easily? I wonder who will cover the investment made my Toyota dalerships to upgrade their (now redundant) showrooms? And what about consumer confidence, that must surely take a hit. Even though people understand they've bought a Toyota that goes faster they now technically own a brand of car which no longer exists. Poor form I say, Toyota have the ability to market TRD go-fast bits for other vehicles in the range, the installation of which would help boost dealership figures too, so why the hell aren't they? Marketing TRD purely as a stand alone brand was a mistake, but now it looks like the whole venture was rather pointless, oh well - back to the days of lame duck Sportivos with no real enhancements I suppose.
  • Phil says,
    7 years ago
    Oh well, am I surprised?? Another demonstration of Toyota Australia's complete lack of enthusiasm for performance. Back to the "Sportivo" body kit then!

    There was a time they had the Supra, GT Four, MR2 and a hot Corolla all in the catalogue. Now it's all whitegoods, and I'm a Toyota loyalist!
  • Godspeed says,
    7 years ago
    A shame, thinking about what could have been.
  • Matthew Kingham says,
    7 years ago
    And they wonder why people buy grey imports for performance. Didn't TRD stand for turd anyway?
    • mookers says,
      7 years ago
      If you look at the Toyota badge just right, you can see an upright turd, floating in a fishbowl...

      As a brand name, TRD wasn't too far off the mark lol
  • Joe says,
    7 years ago
    1 like
    I have had the pleasure of owning a TRD Aurian for almost 18 Months now and can honestly say it is a much better car than the S40T4 Volvo it replaced although
    getting use to its size took a little time.

    With out hesitation I can honestly say that it is the best car that I have ever owned and am extremely proud to say so, during difficult economic times tough decisions must be made and while the news is not to my liking I have every confidence in Toyota Australia maintaining the servicing requirements for this car for the time that I own it.

    I feel sorry for the dedicated engineers who were responsible for delivering this unique vehicle and
    hope to see TRD back some time in the future.