In welcome news for Canada’s struggling automaking industry, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada says it will begin delivering its top-selling Lexus NX SUV in its Cambridge, Ontario plant beginning in 2022.
The plant will produce both a standard and hybrid version of the compact luxury SUV to supply the North American market, Toyota Canada president Fred Volf declared Monday at a function attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and agents of the Ontario provincial government.
“It implies that Toyota’s Canadian assembling operations are digging in for the long haul,” Volf said. “It means that we will continue to be a leader in Canada and globally.”
Flavio Volpe, leader of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, said Toyota’s declaration implies it is resolving to create its two top-selling Lexus SUVs in Canada.
“This announcement says very loudly that Toyota trusts its reputation wholeheartedly to the workers, supply chain and business environment in Canada,” Volpe said.
The move comes as the car making industry in Ontario has been waylaid lately by General Motors’ choice last November to screen its Oshawa facility, and Chrysler’s choice a month ago to cut a move at its Windsor get together plant, prompting 1,500 job losses.
A year ago, Toyota committed to spending $1.4 billion at its Canadian facilities in Cambridge and nearby Woodstock, Ont. , switching them over to what it calls it’s New Global Architecture — a status that allows them to be nimble enough to easily accept new work.
The federal government met Toyota’s responsibility with its own $110 million venture at the time.
Trudeau said the speculation will bolster in excess of 8,000 occupations and 1,000 co-op placements in Southwestern Ontario.
“Today is a great day for Toyota, for Cambridge, and for Canada,” Trudeau said. “Toyota’s new commitment to its Cambridge facility is a vote of confidence in our auto sector, and will help Canada lead in the new high-tech economy of the future.”
Canadian auto plants manufacture in excess of two million vehicles every year.
Ontario is the only place in North America where five major automakers build vehicles — Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda — as well as truck manufacturer Hino.
The automotive sector is Canada’s largest export industry, supporting over 525,000 jobs and contributing $18 billion annually to the country’s economy.
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