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Toyota Australia has exported its 100,000th Camry to Saudi Arabia just six years after exports began.
Over 30,500 left-hand Camry?s were delivered to Saudi Arabia from Toyota?s Altona plant in Melbourne last year, up from just over 4,000 cars in 1996.
The vehicles are shipped from the Port of Melbourne to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia via Singapore.
Mr Mohammed Jameel, chief executive officer of the ALJ Group, the world?s largest independent Toyota distributor, attended the Altona plant for a ceremony to mark the export milestone.
ALJ is a large multibillion-dollar international business involved in automobile sales and service, real estate, consumer electronics, hotels, shipping and other interests.
The Altona plant has produced over half a million vehicles since its commissioning in 1995, almost one-third of which have been left-hand drive Camry exported to the Middle East.
"Today?s milestone demonstrates the on-going success of our export program," Mr Ken Asano, President of Toyota Australia, said.
"Since we began exporting to the Middle East, we have placed priority on improving product quality and delivery timing.
"Our product quality standards have improved significantly over recent years and this has benefited Australian buyers as well as export customers.
"However, we cannot relax. Toyota Australia will continue to improve quality control standards in 2001," Mr Asano said.
Mr Mohammed Jameel said, "There has been strong growth in demand for Toyota Camry over recent years. The Camry is now the top selling passenger vehicle in Saudi Arabia"
"We have already taken delivery of over 16,500 cars from Toyota Australia this year. I expect deliveries will reach around 41,000 by the end of this year."
Last year Toyota Australia?s Completely Built Up (CBU) exports reached 45,600 units to 28 export markets.
Total export revenue, including export of Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kits, parts and accessories, reached $1 billion for the first time, almost 50 percent higher than the previous year.
The Middle East is Toyota Australia?s largest export destination. Left-hand drive Camry?s are shipped to seven countries in the region ? Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Yemen.
Exports are now vital to the overall viability of Toyota Australia?s local manufacturing operations. The company is confident of further growth in exports to the Middle East and other emerging markets.