Toyota to build RAV4 SUV in Cambridge, Ont.
Announcement follows earlier decision to move production of Corolla from Cambridge to Mexico.
Japanese automaker Toyota says it will begin building its popular RAV4 sports utility vehicle at its Cambridge, Ont. assembly plant in 2019, replacing production of the Corolla sedan.
The Cambridge north plant will receive significant new investment, in the “hundreds of millions of dollars,” the company said in a statement.
The RAV4 would continue to be produced at Toyota’s Woodstock plant, with the Cambridge facility helping meet increased demand, the company said. The company also announced that it will be adding hybrid RAV4 production.
The announcement helps allay fears about the plant’s future after Toyota announced earlier this year that production of the best-selling Corolla sedan would move to a new facility in Mexico.
The company did not say whether it will be adding any new jobs at Toyota, which currently employs about 8,000 people at its three assembly plants in southern Ontario. But the new platform “will propel us to the next generation of automotive manufacturing and provide the basis for our longstanding commitment to employment stability,” Brian Krinock, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, said in a statement.
The move fulfills Toyota’s promise to replace the Corolla with a higher value-added vehicle, part of its strategy of moving smaller, less profitable vehicles to lower cost jurisdictions.
“Producing additional RAV4s, a more upscale, more complex, higher content vehicle, fits well with TMMC’s well-earned reputation for quality,” Jim Lentz, chief executive officer for Toyota Motor North America, said in a news release.