Toyota moving Corolla production from Ontario to Mexico
Ontario plant will still be used to build cars, company says.
Toyota will halt production of the Corolla in Canada within the next few years but says it will continue to invest in its plants in Ontario as part of a shift in its global manufacturing operations.
Toyota Motor Corp. will invest US$1 billion in the plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, creating 2,000 jobs, to make the Corolla subcompact, one of the Japanese automaker’s biggest sellers.
Production of the Corolla in Cambridge, Ont., will end but Toyota says it will “switch from producing Corollas to mid-sized, higher-value vehicles,” although an April 15 press release didn’t specify which ones.
Toyota currently makes the higher-end Lexus sedan, the RAV4 sport-utility vehicle, the Matrix hatchback as well as the Corolla in Ontario for the Canadian market and for export, mostly to the U.S.
The company didn’t announce what vehicles will be made in Canada 1/4or how much it will spend on its Ontario plants.
Production at the Mexican and Chinese plants is to start in 2019, with annual output estimated at 200,000 vehicles. That will consolidate Corolla production for North America in that plant and Toyota’s plant in Blue Springs, Miss.
Toyota recently invested $100 million into the Cambridge-area facilities, which the company says added about 400 new jobs while introducing hybrid production and increasing capacity at the plants.
“We are thrilled to invest further in North America so we can better meet the needs of our customers for decades to come,” said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota’s North American unit. “Transforming our Canadian vehicle assembly plants is an equally important part of our strategic plan to position the North America region for sustainable long-term growth.”
“Toyota has been a great partner and contributor to Ontario’s economy since first opening here almost 30 years ago, and since that time, they have invested almost $7 billion, creating thousands of jobs,” Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid said in an April 15 statement responding to Toyota’s announcement. “We have been assured that with today’s announcement, Toyota will continue investing in the province, and ensure that Ontario plays a key role in Toyota’s sustainable, long-term growth in North America.”