Toyota's exit from Australia — what will it mean for Yazaki Samoa?
Yazaki Samoa General Manager YFunefeai Oliver Va’ai says the company still has a contract with Toyota until 2022 – but is not sure what Monday’s news from Australia means for them.
Exit of the Japanese car manufacturer by 2017 was confirmed in meetings with Toyota staff in Australia. This leaves in doubt suppliers like Yazaki Samoa, where some 750 staff manufacture items for Toyota Australia.
“Whatever happens, at the end Toyota made their announcement, but the future of the company depends on our headquarters in Japan,” said Funefeai. He remained cautiously optimistic that closure of Toyota Australia did not necessarily mean Yazaki Samoa would be suffering the same fate.
It can mean even if they move elsewhere if our headquarters decides that well within reason that we still exist.
“Then I suppose that is the only other little sort of promise that we can be optimistic about.
“There is that last optimism that comes into play.”
That optimism is something employees will be clinging to while they wait for an official announcement.
One estimate puts the value of Yazaki Samoa input to the economy at around $8 million tala in wages alone.
“Because at the end of the day our future here is really being decided by our headquarters in Japan.”
While news broke about the closure during the day on Monday,
Funefeai said he did not get any official word until that night. “We have got a contract with them,” he said. “We also want to inform our employees we would rather tell them then to have guesswork from different parts of the media.
“For us, we supply Toyota as a part of the Yazaki global team. He said his Managing Director in Australia did call him yesterday morning to inform Funefeai that he would be meeting with Toyota.
“Just to brief us on what is happening just to give us a bit more detail,” said Funefeai.