TRD Terminated: Toyota Seals Toyota Racing Development's Fate
Motoring Channel Staff - 19/December/2008
The supercharged TRD Aurion
The TRD HiLux was a supercharged street machine
Melbourne, Australia – Toyota sent out a press release today citing "an operational change to its TRD performance brand".
of the guys at the Motoring Channel took one look at the headline and
went back to playing online games and checking Ebay for car parts, but
this operational change is in fact the closing down of the entire TRD
TRD is being completely shut down as of March 31, 2009.
most of the gloomy automotive industry news we've been reporting on in
the last few months, this local casualty is again a result a of the
global economic downturn, but slow sales of the TRD models didn't help
Since it was launched 16 months ago, in mid 2007, TRD or Toyota Racing Development has sold just 888 vehicles.
But as Toyota Australia's senior
executive director David Buttner stated, the brand wasn't initially set
up to make the moola but was more of a branding exercise.
"Toyota made a significant financial commitment to TRD vehicle
conversion and clearly understood short-term profitability was
unlikely," said Buttner.
top brass in Japan have had to trim the fat lately, as it's once
lucrative North American sales have dived along with most other car
makers, and TRD has been an under performing asset.
the realities of the financial crisis and the downturn in consumer
confidence, companies worldwide have an overriding responsibility to do
their utmost to conserve cash - and Toyota is doing just that," Mr
TRD currently sells two models, the TRD Aurion and the TRD HiLux, which has sold 537 and 351 units respectively.
Toyota media release said that a review of all global operations
had taken place and that the review's conclusion has been amplified by
the world economic
downturn and "the need to achieve significant operational efficiencies".
The Australian TRD business had been five years in planning, and will be sorely missed.
performance conversions of the Corolla, Kluger and Yaris were rumoured,
but have little chance of being built after today's decision to shut
down the operation.
David Buttner continued "...the
perspective has changed for business globally and those new rules
require tough decisions for the greater good. This is one of those
has a responsibility to ensure its core business activities, and the
people who rely on them, are protected for the long term," added Buttner.
has confirmed that all TRD owners would be covered by Toyota's
new-vehicle warranty and the company would guarantee the continuing
supply of parts to meet its legal obligations.
No jobs will be lost with the closure of the TRD operation, as all seventeen TRD workers will be re-employed within Toyota.
Buttner said TRD had been a valuable project in developing and proving
expertise within Toyota Australia and concluded by highlighting
Toyota's sales domination in the Australian new car market.
a sad day for performance car lovers, but if one good thing will come
of this it is that TRD vehicles will now be ultra-rare and in a few
decades could be highly sought-after collector cars.
- TRD Aurion (Road Test)
- Toyota Prius (2010)
- Toyota Hybrids + Custom Yaris (2008)
- Toyota Kluger (Road Test)
- Toyota Camry Aussie Hybrid (2010)
- Toyota Corolla (Road Test)
- Toyota iQ (2008)
- Toyota LandCruiser (Road Test)
- Toyota Venza (2008)
- Toyota A-BAT Concept (2008)
- Toyota Landcruiser (2008)
- Toyota Corolla (2007)
- Toyota Supra (2010)