The peak body representing the car industry, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), says Toyota's decision to begin production of a hybrid Camry in Australia from 2010 is a significant and exciting development.
"This is a decisive step and demonstrates the capability of local car makers to help address environmental challenges," FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.
"Australian vehicle manufacturers are exploring a range of opportunities to achieve enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions," he said.
Mr McKellar says Toyota's decision to produce the hybrid Camry locally is a tangible demonstration of the capability and skill that exists within the Australian automotive industry.
"This is one of the most significant announcements for the Australian car industry in a generation and shows Australia is at the forefront of embracing new technology," Mr McKellar said.
The automotive industry is Australia's largest manufacturing industry and a key source of innovation, undertaking R&D worth more than $600 million a year.
The car industry is also the largest exporter after mining, generating export earnings of $5 billion a year.
"The production of more fuel efficient, low-emission vehicles is a key step to maintaining a successful and sustainable manufacturing industry here in Australia," he said.
Mr McKellar says it is crucial that the outcomes of the industry review, headed by Steve Bracks, provide the right policy settings to enable more green-car initiatives to be taken up by local manufacturers.
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