Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says the Productivity Commission will produce interim findings on whether the car manufacturing industry can be made viable in Australia by Christmas.

Mr Macfarlane visited Toyota in Melbourne on Wednesday after a similar trip to Adelaide for talks with Holden last week.

"We are trying to put together a process where we can assess through the Productivity Commission whether or not we can make the car industry viable," he said.

Mr Macfarlane said he would make assessments with Treasurer Joe Hockey and cabinet based on the findings, due to be released by the commission by Christmas.

He said Toyota was enthusiastic about staying in Australia and was keen to make sure they were competitive for a long time.

Mr Macfarlane said he would also hold talks with Ford soon to keep the company manufacturing cars in Australia for as long as possible.

Ford has already announced plans to stop vehicle production in 2016, citing the high cost of local manufacturing.

"They (Ford) know I'm coming," Mr Macfarlane said.

"I don't say anything is impossible. My goal is to keep the design and R&D (research and development) plant here in Australia."

Mr Macfarlane said he would ask cabinet to use money in the Automotive Transformation Scheme to keep the industry afloat if needed.

He said his priority was to keep the industry going and to ensure thousands of people who worked in manufacturing across the country did not lose their jobs.

"I am committed to the car industry and the people that work out the back in sheds behind me and in Adelaide and Broadmeadows, whose livelihood and mortgages ... depend on Australia making vehicles," he said.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said he would meet with Mr Macfarlane later on Wednesday.

"I will be putting a very strong position from Victoria on the importance of the vehicle manufacturing industry to jobs and the economy of this state," he told reporters.

"Particularly the importance of the supply chain to the vehicle manufacturing industry and how important it is not only to jobs, not only to the economy, but also the engineering and design capacity of our state which I believe is an essential component of the future of Victoria."

 

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