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‘Right thing to do’: Toyota’s $18m JobKeeper move

Lucy Dean
·1-min read
Prague, Czech republic - September 23, 2017: Toyota motor corporation logo on dealership building on September 23, 2017 in Prague. Toyota turns its Gazoo Racing Team into new sports brand, the GR brand.
Toyota has handed back millions of dollars. Image: Getty

Car manufacturer Toyota will return some $18 million in JobKeeper payments after it saw an unexpectedly positive year of sales.

Toyota qualified for JobKeeper when its revenue sunk more than 50 per cent in the middle of 2020, but went on to post a record fourth-quarter sales, up 29.1 per cent over the same period in 2019.

In fact, Toyota delivered 204,801 cars over 2020, only 975 fewer than in 2019, making it the best-selling vehicle brand for the 18th year in a row.

CEO Matthew Callachor said the company chose to return the JobKeeper payments as a result of the blockbuster season.

“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," Callachor said.

It claimed the payments for nearly 1,400 employees and also developed a business plan to help it overcome the headwinds.

"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.”

Toyota has been in discussions with the Australian Tax Office since December to negotiate the return of the JobKeeper payments.

"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,” Callachor said.

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