Australian Automotive Envoy visits Eastern Seaboard

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John Conomos, the Australian Automotive Industry Envoy, came to Thailand for the Australian Auto Week, visiting many companies on the Eastern Seaboard, and addressing the Automotive Focus Group (AFG) on the Australian Automotive 2020 road map.

John Conomos is unrivalled in his experience of the Australian auto industry, spanning 40 years beginning with British Leyland, and after BL folded in Australia John went on and established Daihatsu Distributors where he was responsible for the introduction of a range of small passenger cars.

John Conomos, Australian Automotive Envoy. John Conomos, Australian Automotive Envoy.

From there he went to Toyota as Chief General Manager of Thiess Toyota in 1981.  He then began climbing the corporate ladder within Toyota, becoming the Senior Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Corporation Australia from 1993.

Following his retirement as Executive Chairman of Toyota Australia and Managing Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation of Australia, positions he held since 2004, he was appointed Chairman Emeritus and Principal Policy Adviser to Toyota Australia, the new position becoming effective 1 July 2006.

In July 2009, John was appointed the Australian Automotive Industry Envoy by Senator Kim Carr, the Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.  He had already been given the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List in June 2005, one of the highest honors one can get in Australia.

The message he had for the AFG was “innovation”.  It was no longer enough to produce a quality product – everyone today just naturally expects quality, but what will make a product successful is by offering quality with a new and better way of accomplishing results.

One example of this was displayed at the trade show held at the same venue and was the Davies Craig electric water pump.  Not only cast in nylon with ceramic impeller, but driven by the car’s alternator and not a power-sapping belt driven pump from the crankshaft.

An interesting evening of value to the AFG members.