Toyota Australia has confirmed that it will return JobKeeper payments received in 2020 following a strong sales performance in late-2020.
As a result of a bumper new vehicle sales performance in the final quarter of 2020, Toyota Australia has announced that it will return JobKeeper payments in excess of $18 million.
Toyota Australia says it qualified for JobKeeper in mid-2020 when its revenue fell by more than 50 per cent – the threshold for access to the Federal Government’s stimulus program designed to keep people in jobs – but sales recovered later in the year and Toyota was the best-selling brand for the 18th consecutive year, with total deliveries of 204,801 vehicles – just 975 short of the previous year.
In fact, Toyota’s sales in late-2020 were so strong that Toyota Australia recorded a fourth-quarter total of 66,179 vehicles, a gain of 29.1 per cent over the same period in 2019.
Toyota President and CEO Matthew Callachor (pictured at top) said the company approached the Australian Taxation Office in December to arrange the JobKeeper repayment.
“Like most businesses, Toyota faced an extremely uncertain future when the COVID-19 health crisis developed into an economic crisis that even led to dealerships closing for extended periods in Victoria and Tasmania,” Mr Callachor said.
“We claimed JobKeeper payments to help support the job security of almost 1400 Toyota employees around Australia – the people who are our first priority.
“At the same time, we executed a comprehensive action plan which succeeded in overcoming the challenges we faced and reigniting our business.
“In the end, we were very fortunate to weather the storm better than most, so our management and board decided that returning JobKeeper payments was the right thing to do as a responsible corporate citizen.
“We are extremely grateful that so many Australians continue to put their trust in Toyota to deliver quality vehicles and services, especially in tough times.”
Toyota Australia takes its corporate responsibility seriously, and last year it says it prepared more than 50,000 meals for frontline workers and vulnerable members of the community; designed and produced face shields that were donated to hospitals; helped grassroots clubs raise more than $650,000 through the Good for Cricket and Good for Footy raffles, donated $573,000 to assist bushfire-affected communities; and awarded Toyota Community Trust grants for STEM education projects.