Toyota said the facility has the capacity to handle 67,000 units annually and is ramping up to 220 units a day (55,000 pa) to meet current demand. Those vehicles are distributed to the dealer network in Victoria and Tasmania.
Toyota has invested $150m in converting its former assembly plant in Altona, near Melbourne, Australia, into a large-scale, pre-delivery inspection (PDI) centre for imported vehicles.
The former plant is now also home to Toyota’s biggest service parts warehouse in the country, outsizing the one in Kemps Creek, New South Wales. Toyota is also carrying out final kit assembly of the Toyota HiLux Rogue and upcoming Toyota HiLux GR Sport in a dedicated facility on the site.
Toyota stopped making cars in Australia in 2017, part of a wider exodus of carmakers from the country. The appreciation of the Australian dollar and its impact on exports, high manufacturing and labour costs, and low economies of scale were variously cited as reasons for the mass departure of carmakers around that time.
The 25,550-sq.m PDI facility is sited in what was the former the Toyota Camry body shop.
Called Toyota Centralised Services, the facility provides a range of PDI services that were previously carried out by the dealerships, including parts and accessories fitment and final trim options. Toyota said the facility has the capacity to handle 67,000 units annually and is ramping up to 220 units a day (55,000 pa) to meet current demand. Those vehicles are distributed to the dealer network in Victoria and Tasmania.
The facility has an 80,000 sq.m storage lot able to park 4,400 vehicles awaiting services and onward distribution. Hail nets provide cover for 3,950 of those vehicles.
Operatives scan a digital QR code at each accessory fitment station, which gives notifies them of required parts and vehicle location, and then notifies the system when the fitment is complete.
Two lines of AGVs deliver one car every two minutes for inspection. That includes a complete underbody check, vehicle initialization, including seats, windows, moonroof (where fitted) and tyre pressure. Operatives also check the vehicle electrics and carry out a computerised vehicle health check and overall quality inspection.
The Melbourne site is also now Toyota’s biggest parts warehouse in Australia, distributing 26,000 parts a day from a 50,000 sq.m building.