Toyota announcement brings Wynne, Trudeau to region

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lbow
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Fri May 04, 2018 1:09 pm

'Very hush-hush': Toyota announcement brings Wynne, Trudeau to region
NORMAN DE BONO
May 4, 2018 | Last Updated: May 4, 2018 7:43 AM EDT


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne will make a joint announcement at the Cambridge Toyota plant Friday, fuelling speculation the Southwestern Ontario factory is in line for a massive investment.

The announcement at 3:30 p.m. will embrace both Toyota’s Cambridge and Woodstock plants. Speculation on the shop floor Thursday veered from a new vehicle to replace the Corolla departing at year’s end, or a retool to ramp up production and make even more of the automaker’s best-selling RAV4s, said Lee Sperdutti, a Toyota worker.

“It has been very hush-hush. There has not been any information, everyone is waiting on bated breath,” he said.

“There is a lot of speculation but we really don’t know.”

The Cambridge plant will stop making the Corolla either at the end of this year, or early in 2019 and Toyota recently announced a small Lexus crossover vehicle will be built on the RAV4 frame, leading to speculation the Ontario plants may land that work.


Toyota’s plant in Cambridge assembles the Corolla and Lexus RX350 cross-over vehicle, while the Woodstock plant builds the RAV4. The plant is already building the next-generation RAV4, for 2019.

“Isn’t it exciting?” said Suzanne Baal, Toyota spokesperson, who declined further comment.
“It is a government announcement. We are hosting. It is for them to announce,” she said.

Between them, Toyota’s two Southwestern Ontario plants employ about 8,000 workers, with 5,600 in Cambridge and 2,400 in Woodstock.

Friday’s announcement comes as Ontario braces for a June election expected to be called next week.

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lbow
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Fri May 04, 2018 3:24 pm

Toyota Plans $1.1 Billion Expansion at Canadian Plant


TOYOTA MOTOR
7,165.00JPY-30.00-0.42%
Toyota Motor Corp. is set to announce a C$1.4 billion ($1.1 billion) expansion of its Canadian operations to build the RAV4 sport utility vehicle, a bet on the nation’s manufacturing amid a cloud of uncertainty from ongoing Nafta talks.

The Japanese automaker is slated to make an announcement Friday afternoon at its facility in Cambridge, Ontario, alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The expansion in Cambridge and nearby Woodstock will create 450 jobs, supported by C$110 million in federal funding and possibly provincial support, said two people familiar with the plans who asked not to be identified before the official announcement. The two plants west of Toronto now employ about 8,000 people, and made more than 600,000 vehicles last year.

Toyota and other automakers are shifting focus to meet consumers’ growing preference for SUVs over cars. Toyota, the world’s second-biggest carmaker, has already announced it’ll move assembly of the Corolla compact to the U.S. to make room for RAV4 output. During 2017, Toyota sold 407,594 RAV4s in the U.S., topping Camry sedan sales for the first time.


The auto industry is at the heart of ongoing Nafta talks, with ministers due to meet Monday in Washington. The U.S. wants more cars and auto parts made in North America and is proposing to raise the share of content sourced from the region to 75 percent from the current 62.5 percent. The countries are pushing for a deal in principle this month in hopes of passing it in the current U.S. congress, and before Mexico’s July 1 elections
lbow
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:59 am

Fri May 04, 2018 3:25 pm

Great news here!
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