Less than one year after announcing a $1.4 billion investment in its Ontario operations, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) has announced production of a new vehicle at its award-winning Cambridge plant in Waterloo Region.
Already home to production of the brand new Toyota RAV 4 – North America’s best-selling non-pickup vehicle – and numerous versions of the Lexus RX, they will soon produce the Lexus NX crossover and Lexus NX Hybrid, starting in 2022. This marks the first time that these two vehicles will be manufactured outside of Japan.
In fact, it is exceptionally rare for the Japanese manufacturer to entrust the production of its luxury brand to any facility outside of the company’s home country, so this decision to expand production of Lexus products in Waterloo is a tremendous honour within Toyota’s global organization.
In 2003, the Cambridge plant became the first facility outside of Japan to produce a Lexus product and it has since made more than 1.3 million Lexus RX and Lexus RX Hybrid vehicles.
“[This investment] means that Toyota’s Canadian manufacturing operations are here to stay,” said Fred Volf, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada’s President.
With a North America-leading 16 J.D. Power Awards, it was clear that the Cambridge plant was able to produce top-quality vehicles, but before making this commitment Toyota’s headquarters in Japan needed Toyota Canada to prove it was cost-competitive.
“Together with the company’s recent investments in our facilities, today’s announcement demonstrates the tremendous amount of trust that Toyota has in the Team Members here at TMMC,” Volf added. “It has been an honour to be producing a Lexus model and now we’re being trusted to produce two of them.”
The event included remarks from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Deputy Premier Christine Elliott. The federal and provincial governments made matching $110 million investments in the company last year.
“Good things happen when governments and businesses partner to deliver jobs and investment,” said Tony LaMantia, President and CEO of Waterloo EDC. “This announcement keeps TMMC at the top of the automotive manufacturing value chain and ensures Toyota continues to play an important role in Waterloo’s economy.”
In May 2018, Toyota announced that it would make a $1.4 billion investment in its Ontario locations. Already Waterloo Region’s largest manufacturing employer, this investment promised to add 450 new jobs and 1,000 co-op placements and supercharge the automotive giant’s local research and development efforts.
In addition to the RAV 4 and the upcoming additions to its manufacturing line-up, Toyota also assembles the Lexus RX 350 and the RX 450h at the Cambridge plant. Together with the company’s plant in Woodstock, the assembly locations employ about 8,500 people.