Time to Retool: Toyota to Dump a Billion Loonies Into Ontario’s RAV4 Plants


Toyota Motor Corp. is upgrading plants in Ontario to ready them for the next generation of the RAV4. The investment goes toward the retooling of two separate assembly lines at an estimated cost of one billion Canadian dollars (or roughly $780 million USD). While Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Woodstock will continue building the standard version of the crossover, TMMC Cambridge will handle the hybridized variant.

As a result, assembly of the Toyota Corolla will be moved out of Ontario and into Alabama, where the automaker is building a new facility via it’s recent partnership with Mazda. A portion of the funds going toward the project will also be reserved for research and development within the province.

The Canadian government is expected to contribute around $100 million CAD toward the project. According to The Globe and Mail, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne will make an announcement at the TMMC North Plant in Cambridge this afternoon.

Currently, all Toyota RAV4 hybrids are imported from Japan. But with the company boasting record truck sales for the month of April (7.6 percent higher than 2017), it wants to consolidate domestic production. The model is currently Toyota’s best selling vehicle in North America and around a quarter of those sold leave the lot in hybrid trim. It’s anticipating similarly strong sales for the next generation and, provided it can get these assembly lines set up swiftly, localizing production will be a blessing in terms of minimizing overall costs.

Deliveries of the fifth-gen RAV4 are anticipated to begin before the end of 2018, with hybrid sales commencing in the spring of 2019.

[Image: Toyota Motor Corp.]