Photo: Toyota Australia

Photo: Toyota Australia

Toyota has ended 54 years of production in Australia after closing its Melbourne factory, reports the Associated Press.

The Toyota plant's shuttering follows Ford Motor Co.'s departure from Australian auto manufacturing, as well as the announcement that General Motors' Holden brand will close its Adelaide factory on Oct. 20.

The Melbourne factory's closure leaves 2,700 Toyota workers unemployed. The closing of Toyota's Altona plant has dropped Toyota's staff from 4,000 to 1,300 people in Australia, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

In its announcement of the closures, Toyota cited a weakening Australian dollar, high manufacturing costs, and falling profits from Australia's population of only 23-million people.

University of Adelaide researchers have predicted that the collapse of the auto industry in Australia could result in as many as 200,000 jobs lost across the country, as well as a $22.6 billion loss in annual GDP.

Australia is the first country outside of Japan where Toyota began manufacturing automobiles.