Toyota to get $100M for southern Ontario expansion
The federal and provincial governments have put aside their differences and teamed up to provide financial assistance to help expand Toyota's manufacturing operations in southern Ontario.
The two governments will provide a total of $100 million towards Toyota’s planned $421 million investment in the automaker’s Cambridge, Ont., operations.
The provincial Liberal government will give Toyota a grant of up to $42.1 million, or 10 per cent of the project’s cost.
The federal government will contribute about 14 per cent of the project’s cost in the form of repayable $58-million loan.
Gary Goodyear, minister of state responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, made the joint announcement with Ontario Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid in Cambridge.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC) has three plants in southwestern Ontario, with two in Cambridge that produce the Corolla sedan and the RX350 and RX450h, and one in nearby Woodstock producing the RAV4 SUV.
Toyota will equip its Cambridge South plant with new machinery that will allow it to produce two next generation Lexus SUV models and equip its Woodstock plant with equipment capable of building lightweight aluminum parts that improve fuel efficiency.
For example, the all-new 4th generation RX will involve a stiffer body structure. To help make that happen, TMMC is introducing updated laser screw welding procedures and increasing the content of lightweight, high-strength steel used in assembly.
In addition, the new RX relies on aluminum back door and hood panels to help control body weight. In fact, more than $40 million has been invested in Toyota’s Woodstock plant to build a new stamping line capable of creating aluminum parts.
In the quest to enhance vehicle durability, appearances and elements of tactile feel, the new RX built in Canada will add new materials ranging from aluminum, to new paint formulations and resins to help create a superior vehicle.
The production of lightweight technology is an advancement for the Ontario automotive industry because Canada will be well positioned to export these lightweight, fuel-efficient parts to the U.S.
Last fall, Ontario provided an $85.7 million loan to help with Honda’s $857 million expansion of its manufacturing facilities in Alliston, north of Toronto.
In June, TMMC received two J.D. Power and Associates Plant Quality awards, gold and silver, in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.
“We are very proud of our quality results this year,” said TMMC president, Brian Krinock.
“This recognition shows TMMC’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, as well as the dedication our Team Members have to building every car with great care and precision.”
The J.D. Power Initial Quality Study includes 2015 model vehicles purchased between November 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015.
Customers own the vehicles for 90 days following their purchase and then completed the J.D. Power survey.
Plant awards are based on the least number of defects or malfunctions per vehicle, and the scores for all three of TMMC’s plants surpassed the industry averages. This is the second time TMMC has received two awards in the same year.
These awards take TMMC’s total to 14, which is more than any other automotive manufacturer in the Americas.
With files from TMMC and THE CANADIAN PRESS