Toyota New Zealand

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Toyota New Zealand is the importer and distributor of new Toyota and Daihatsu vehicles in New Zealand. It also imports used vehicles from Japan, and refurbishes them at its plant in Thames. Until 1998 it also assembled a variety of vehicles.

Local Manufacturing

Toyota assembled a variety of vehicles in New Zealand from the 1960s through to late 1998. Complete knock down (CKD) kits were brought in from Japan and assembled in plants located in Thames and Christchurch. Locally produced components were also used, and included items such as tires, seats, trims, and glass. Vehicles that were locally produced were Corolla, Corona, Celica, Hilux, and Hi-ace.

However, during 1998 the New Zealand Government decided that tariffs on imported cars would be abolished. This led to the remaining four local assemblers (Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mitsubishi) to announce that they would be ceasing local production during and would concentrate on importing instead. Toyota decided that it would turn its sole remaining plant at Thames into a refurbishment center for the resale of used imports from Japan.