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.