In the middle of last year, Toyota said it qualified for JobKeeper when its revenue fell more than 50 per cent, meaning it crossed the threshold required for access to the federal government’s stimulus program.
However, Toyota’s sales later recovered, with the company posting a record fourth-quarter total of 66,179 vehicles, a gain of 29.1 per cent over the same period in 2019.
As a result, 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.
Toyota president and CEO Matthew Callachor said the company approached the Australian Taxation Office in December to arrange the JobKeeper repayment, amounting to more than $18 million.
“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 1,400 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.”
The JobKeeper program entered the second phase of its extension period on 4 January and will run until 28 March 2021.
During this period, the tier 1 rate will decrease from $1,200 to $1,000 per fortnight, while the tier 2 rate will reduce from $750 to $650 per fortnight.
The tier 1 rate applies to eligible employees who worked for 80 hours or more in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 80 hours or more in February and provide a declaration to that effect.
The tier 2 rate applies to any other eligible employees and eligible business participants.