Toyota Gets $34 Million From Canadian Government To Build Hybrids

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Toyota’s Cambridge, Ontario plant will have the honor of being the sole facility outside Japan to produce hybrid Lexus RX crossovers. The announcement came alongside plans for an investment of $34 million investment from the Canadian government.

The Ontario government and the Canadian federal government contributed $17 million each to help upgrade the plant and add 400 jobs. The federal portion comes from Canada’s “Innovation Fund”, a $250 million fund that is being used to provide investment in the auto industry at a time when many auto makers, particularly from the Detroit Three, are complaining about excessive labor costs and a high Canadian dollar to makes it difficult to do business in Canada.

A report by the Windsor Star quotes Tony Faria, an auto industry expert and University professor, as he outlines the challenges faced by Canada in attracting new investment

“It’s not unusual for governments in the southern states to assemble the land for a plant, provide the land free, provide all of the upgrades in infrastructure to service the plant, provide training funds for the workforce, tax abatement for 20, 30 years in future, pay directly for part of the plant’s construction — in other words, cover between 33 and 40 per cent of the entire investment the company would be making in the facility.”

Many observers have been calling for increased government investment in the auto industry, while opponents cry “corporate welfare” over the multi-million dollar sums that flow from the government to the auto makers. Your stance on the matter depends on where you stand on the political spectrum. Those with their feet firmly planted on the ground know that in Ontario, auto manufacturing is a big player, and one of the last sources of good jobs that hasn’t been offshored.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Scott_314 Scott_314 on Jan 24, 2013

    A relatively small amount of government money resulting in an positive number of jobs in Ontario? What is this, opposite-day?

  • Gentle Ted Gentle Ted on Jan 24, 2013

    This Plant in Cambridge, Ontario already makes the only Lexus Model(RX350) here, its the only place outside of Japan that any Lexus is manufactured, so I would think that having made a Lexus before here in Cambridge, Toyota know what they are doing as to the workers that build the Lexus RX350. On a Tour of this plant a few years ago, they would not let us see where the Lexus was built, we did see the other Toyota makes manufactured there but the Lexus area was not shown to our Tour!

  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
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