Toyota Australia invests $100M to shorten new car delivery times

In what’s believed to be a world first, the previous Toyota Camry manufacturing facility web site in Melbourne has been transformed to predeliver new vehicles on an industrial scale to extend manufacturing and shorten lead occasions.

Toyota Australia has taken the extraordinary step of reworking its outdated automobile meeting plant in Melbourne right into a $100 million pre-delivery mega-center geared toward decreasing lead occasions for brand spanking new autos.

Making ready a brand new automobile previous to buyer supply typically takes hours, days or even weeks for sellers, relying on the choices fitted to every automobile.

Nonetheless, with the pre-delivery course of now on an industrial scale, Toyota Australia can put the ending touches on as much as 270 autos a day – each two minutes the automobile leaves the robotic inspection strains – earlier than these are despatched to showrooms for buyer supply. .

The plant in Altona, on the outskirts of Melbourne, beforehand produced Toyota Camry sedans for Australia and the Center East.

The power has since gone by way of a multi-million greenback renovation and reworking course of, together with a elements and equipment meeting space and a pre-delivery mega middle.

It now additionally homes Toyota Australia’s largest elements warehouse – a 50,000-square-foot constructing distributing 26,000 elements a day – and an 85,000-square-foot out of doors automobile storage space as a part of a serious renovation on the Altona web site following the tip of native manufacturing. 2017 automobile manufacturing

Previously the Toyota Camry physique store, the 25,550 sq. foot entrance supply constructing is bigger than the Melbourne Cricket Floor.

For now, the pre-delivery mega hub in Melbourne provides autos solely to Toyota dealerships in Victoria and Tasmania, however the Japanese auto large says it needs to arrange related amenities in different Australian states.

Pre-delivery mega middle created greater than 100 new jobs; Lower than 10 % of the workforce are former Toyota manufacturing line employees.

The opening of the Altona facility in November 2022 has allowed roughly 50 sellers in Victoria and Tasmania to reassign pre-delivery employees to different elements of their companies and cut back service middle wait occasions.

Formally often called Toyota Centralized Companies, the pre-delivery mega middle reduces the necessity for sellers to supply giant holding areas for autos and reduces stress on elements and accent inventories.

As a result of autos are centrally situated, Toyota sellers can save time, cash and keep away from duplication by swapping inventory amongst themselves earlier than a automobile is delivered to showrooms.

Toyota sells between 16,000 and 20,000 vehicles in Australia every month, which represents about one in 5 new autos bought nationally.

Serving Victoria and Tasmania, the Altona pre-delivery mega middle has 4,400 parking areas, 3950 of that are underneath its 85,000 sq. meter hail web, whereas the stability of 450 autos is in an open house prepared to maneuver in.

A digital QR code in each parking zone and at each accent docking station permits employees to scan what elements are wanted, the place the automobile is, when it is able to be fitted and when it is full.

Greater than 1000 sorts of Toyota equipment are on web site, however solely real elements can be found. Clients could proceed to put in non-original equipment on their autos upon receipt or if the vendor is prepared for this.

Sellers full the automobile registration course of and carry out a remaining inspection earlier than buyer supply.

For now, sellers proceed to take care of window movie and paint safety. Nonetheless, Toyota says it could increase its choices to incorporate window movie and paint safety sooner or later if demand comes from sellers who do not need to take care of it.

Toyota Australia says having a staff of specialists repeat the method of putting in equipment on an industrial scale will result in larger high quality outcomes and streamline the method to shorten lead occasions.

As vehicles change into extra advanced, Toyota Australia says putting in equipment would require extra technical experience and specialised gear.

Earlier than reaching the ultimate inspection section, the Altona facility has 24 workspaces for attaching entrance roll bars and heavy-duty equipment to all-wheel drive autos and pickup vehicles.

Particular high-tech calibration gear is used to reprogram delicate radar security sensors a couple of minutes after a bullbar or poke stick is put in.

The identical calibration examine at a dealership pre-delivery middle takes about an hour to finish – after that equipment are connected – as a result of that is extra of a guide course of utilizing primary gear.

“As we transfer in direction of extra related and electrical autos… the pre-delivery course of will change into more and more advanced, so we want to have the ability to ship constant high quality at each step earlier than buyer supply,” mentioned Toyota Australia vice chairman. , gross sales and advertising, Sean Hanley.

As for resetting the security sensors after different elements have been eliminated and changed – or after lengthy bars and different heavy gear have been fitted – Mr. Hanley mentioned: “On this new world, nobody can dwell as much as the promise of ‘shut sufficient is sweet sufficient’.”

The Toyota Australia government mentioned the corporate had been engaged on the thought of ​​a pre-delivery mega middle since 2016 – a yr earlier than the Camry meeting line shut down.

“As we explored higher and fairer methods to allocate inventory and enhance the shopper expertise, we rapidly realized that we wanted to higher handle our automobile actions and logistics and acquire effectivity in how rapidly we might get vehicles to clients,” mentioned Mr. Hanley. To unfold.

“Then we realized that this massive block of land[the Toyota Camry factory site]grew to become usable, and it developed from there.”

The senior Toyota Australia government mentioned the corporate plans to open related pre-delivery mega facilities in Sydney, Brisbane and past as soon as its Melbourne facility will get up to the mark.

“The goal of this operation, which is a start-up for us, is to get the enterprise mannequin proper, get the method proper, and get the standard proper. Once we convey that to Toyota high quality, we are able to increase,” mentioned Mr. Hanley.

“Our purpose is to unfold this throughout the nation. We perceive that there are completely different circumstances in numerous cities.

“We have thought of rising capability on the Altona plant, but it surely would not make sense to ship vehicles from right here to Queensland, for instance.”

The Toyota government mentioned that increasing the pre-delivery mega middle nationally would permit sellers to relocate employees to different elements of their companies the place there could also be employees shortages.

“We’ve got an enormous automobile park there that we have to sustain with,” mentioned Mr. Hanley.

“We are saying to our sellers, please use this capability we created to spend money on different areas of the enterprise. Presently, most sellers (pre-delivery specialists) are transferring into service areas.”

As Toyota Australia prepares so as to add hydrogen and electrical autos to its future lineup, the corporate has additionally put in its personal gas ramps so each new automobile leaves the megacentre with a full tank earlier than supply.

Toyota Australia says it pumps about 17,000 liters of gas per day from two 55,000-liter tanks, one diesel and three unleaded (91, 95 and 98 octane).

For now, Toyota’s pre-delivery mega middle is unique to Victoria and Tasmania, which incorporates each element all the way down to the right tire pressures and headlight changes on autos outfitted with heavy equipment.

Nonetheless, the corporate plans to increase into probably the most populous states of NSW and Queensland earlier than getting into the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

Given the price of actual property, infrastructure and know-how required inside the facility, funding in every new level of sale is predicted to quantity to lots of of tens of millions of {dollars}, so a nationwide deployment will possible be gradual.

“Sellers in different states need it, however we want time to finish the method 100% proper earlier than we think about increasing to different areas,” mentioned Mr. Hanley.

Along with the pre-delivery mega middle and new elements warehouse, Toyota Australia has to this point invested in a brand new design studio, a brand new technical coaching centre, a hydrogen centre, a take a look at monitor and a brand new devoted facility for remaining meeting. Toyota HiLux Rogue and the upcoming Toyota HiLux GR Sport ute.

Whole funding on the web site exceeds $150 million, of which roughly $100 million consists of the 25,500 sq. foot pre-delivery mega middle, 85,000 sq. foot automobile storage, 50,000 sq. foot new elements warehouse and the unique Toyota HiLux Rogue and GR Sport remaining meeting facility.

Joshua Dowling has been an auto journalist for over 20 years and spends most of his time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as auto editor and one of many first members of the Drive staff) and Information Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018 and has been on the World Automotive of the Yr jury for over 10 years.

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