Toyota will stay, expects Abbott

Tony AbbottThere is still a good chance to convince Toyota to keep making cars in Australia - but it won't involve government handouts says Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Toyota will be the last company manufacturing cars in Australia by 2017, as Holden will close shop a year after Ford shut local manufacturing.

Mr Abbott says he has met the Toyota head Max Yasuda in recently and believes the company is in a very different position than Ford and Holden since it focuses heavily on exports.

He mentioned to reporters on Monday while announcing the start of planned road works along the Great Ocean Road, "That's why I think we've got good prospects of keeping it."

He said it was "tragic" to see Holden leave, but stated that a package designed to improve the efficiency of the industry will be announced in near future.

The Prime Minister also said that regions like Geelong, which has relied on manufacturing in the past, can change the focus to other industries such as higher education, tourism, and biomedical research.

He said, "I want to see people transition from old jobs into better jobs."

But he still maintains to rule out any kind of direct assistance to the car industry.

"It will be the creativity, the dynamism and the commitment to running a successful business on their part, rather than taxpayer handouts, which will secure the future of all the businesses in this country," he added.