By on July 31, 2015


Federal and provincial governments in Canada have offered more than $100 million (USD $77 million) for improvements to the Cambridge and Woodstock plants, CTV news is reporting.

The incentives are part of a $421 million (USD $323 million) investment that will be used for light metal stamping in Woodstock, which makes the RAV4, and plant improvements in Cambridge, which produces the soon-to-be-gone Toyota Corolla and Lexus RX vehicles. Toyota has said it will move the Corolla to Mexico, but hasn’t announced what would replace it at the Cambridge plant.

The Canadian government tipped in $34 million in 2013 for improvements to the Cambridge plant to produce the RX 450h.

Toyota’s announcement may be welcome news for Ontario’s car-building complex. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne recently told media in Toronto that building cars in Canada is becoming more expensive, and former Oshawa mayor John Gray calling for a GM boycott if the automaker doesn’t replace the Camaro when production ends in November.

Both Volvo and Land Rover have opted to build plants in Southern U.S. states that could potentially offer more in incentives than Canada’s most populous province, which is heaping more public debt on itself through public infrastructure projects.

The announcement could also signal a better working relationship between the governments and automakers. FCA may be looking for incentives as it prepares to make a $1 billion decision on its Brampton plant, which produces the Dodge Challenger, Charger and Chrysler 300.

Marchionne asked federal and provincial governments in 2014 for incentives to retool the company’s Windsor plant that produces minivans. After a contentious public debate over the size of the financial package requested, FCA decided to go it alone. The future of the Brampton plant, which will also require funding to finance retooling for the next-generation rear-wheel drive sedans, is uncertain.

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26 Comments on “Canada, Ontario Governments Kick in Millions for Toyota Plant Upgrades...”

  • avatar

    Corporate welfare, eh?

    • 0 avatar

      And to a company with coffers as full as Toyota’s.

      Govt. aid to the those who least need it (but have politicians in their pockets).

      Really no different than those billionaire professional sports franchise owners who basically hold cities hostage for publicly financed-stadiums/arenas, which only further the value of their respective franchises.

      • 0 avatar

        Your beloved Hyundai got quite a bit more than this from the state of Alabama. And Kia received even more from Georgia.

        • 0 avatar

          And I rather the 2 not have gotten it, but they weren’t about the turn away “free” $$, esp. when the competition is sucking at the teat of govt. largesse as well.

          But one important distinction is that those were for building a new manufacturing plant where there were several states bidding; whereas in this case, it was for additional aid for a plant that had been in operation for nearly 3 decades and had previously gotten govt. aid when it had been built.

          Just as bad would be for H/K to ask for more govt. help 20-25 yrs from now (as I suspect they will do as I don’t see this type of corporate welfare going away anytime soon).

          It’s the “gift” that keeps on giving – like those billionaire sport teams owners who demand that tax payers foot the bill in building a new sports palace despite the current stadium/arena being perfectly functional. Rinse and repeat every 30-40 yrs or so.

  • avatar

    So Toyota is now a non-profit company? You’d think they could afford their own plant upgrades. Maybe they need Gail Vax-Oxlade to get them on a budget.

  • avatar

    Everybody’s going on about how Ontario is the new hot place not to build cars, but a few years of this new sub 80 US cent Canadian dollar will do wonders for production totals in the province.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Large corporations have historically received far more government dollars than social welfare programs.

    However, done properly they do bring benefits.

    The problem is by giving this money to Toyota the provincial and federal governments cannot rationally turn down Fiat/Chrysler and GM when they show up (again) with their hats in their hands demanding more money.

  • avatar

    Just more of the usual “too big to fail” nonsense. Funds flow to those big enough to create a news story benefiting politicians. And away from anyone else. That way, those already big, are less likely to face competition from perpetually kept in destitution upstarts, while the big guys know who to kowtow to in order to keep their “business” going. IOW, progressive government as usual.

  • avatar

    This, of course, has NOTHING to do with the upcoming federal election. Nothing at all.

  • avatar

    FCA’s Marchionne seems to be sticking his comments on what others are doing to progress and what he views as such actions as counter effective. In my opinion his strategies are 10 years behind everyone else.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I have owned Corollas all my life and if they start building them in Mexico, I will not buy any more new ones.

    • 0 avatar

      Go away, loser. There will be plenty who will appreciate the chance to own a well built car from Mexico. It seems like Mexican built cars will soon be half of the US market. Cars built by UAW members and cars built by Alabama rednecks are OK, but cars built in Mexico are not? What a loser.

      • 0 avatar

        Easy, pal. I’d be happy to own a quality car made wherever, but I’m sure you’re aware Mexico doesn’t exactly have a long history of manufacturing excellence. The issue is all the not-quite-so-well-built cars.


      • 0 avatar

        Pretty much all the lowest margin models are going to Mexican production – anything compact basically.

        Heck even Mercedes is going to build their compact, FWD models there.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Volt 230,
      Our Corollas come from Thailand. They used to be manufactured here in Australia up until 1993 then our Corollas came from for 20 years or so.

      The Thai built vehicles are very good, as good as anything from Japan or Korea.

      I don’t see how a Mexican manufactured/assembled Corolla would be any different. Most parts would be imported like your current Corollas.

      The only difference being they are knocked up in Mexico.

      Anyway, these small cars are very much like a flat screen TV or fridge. They are just an appliance to prevent one from walking in the rain and cold weather.

      Who cares where a vehicle is manufactured.

      • 0 avatar

        Toyota Corollas aren’t all that’s getting knocked up in Mexico.
        (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

        There is still a bit of anti-import sentiment in the U.S., but you don’t hear much about it any more. We have become used to most consumer products coming from China, and many of the components used to build “domestic” cars are imported from the most cost-efficient source available. Part of this change in attitude toward the balance of trade is pragmatism, part is the death of the older generation, and part is just ignorance or giving up.
        The bottom line is if a source country does a good job, then the consumer won’t care. If the paint peels off like on the infamous Mexican-built VW Thing, it will take quite a while for the memory to fade.

  • avatar

    Favouritism 100 years ago ye canuck gave handouts to railroads but not shipbuilders. Autos were startup private sector.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What a shameful socialist display.

    What a waste of tax payer dollars.

    I suppose the poor slob who is a carpenter, plumber, even a small restaurant would not have access to money to buy new hammers, shovels and pots.

    I suppose it comes down to large socialist labour and business reliant on sucking the life out of others for their own selfish means.

    The money could be better spent or taxes reduced, then maybe people would have more to spend, increasing the economy with greater efficiency.

    Like the great Iron Lady, Margret Thatcher stated, socialism is viable until everyone else money is spent.

    Industrial welfare is a negative and only socialists and the ultra greedy lazy fncks will support it.

    • 0 avatar

      Big Al from Oz – it has little to do with socialist ideology. There are several factors at play. It is a case of bribing vote rich Ontario pre-federal election. The so called Conservatives fear loosing so they throw a bone to auto manufacturing. Another part of that picture is the current Conservative government wants to run an election on their management of the economy versus the inexperience of the opposing Liberals.

      Socialism at work?


      Politics of power or more specifically, the manipulation of the optics of power.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        The Conservatives are the lazy greedy fncks I speak of.

        I really do believe much money that is spent on industrial welfare could be better spent.

        Why should the taxpayer buy what is essentially tools for a business?

        Business become reliant on these handouts and inefficiencies become more ingrained, then it becomes harder to wean the business off of welfare.

        This is not a win-win situation.

        • 0 avatar

          Big Al from Oz – I’d rather not see corporate welfare but as we know, that is how the game is played.

          I’m sure there are more fitting words that “socialism” to cover that sort of pandering.

    • 0 avatar

      How can taxes be reduced on individuals/families when taxes keep being reduced (thru various means) on big corporations?

      And frankly, taxes cannot be reduced on individuals/families as both the US and Canada (more so for the US) is way behind in upgrading, much less maintaining its infrastructure – need to maintain bridges, roads and tunnels, need to put in new water pipes, need to shore up tens of thousands of dams and levees, and that’s not even talking about upgrading the antiquated power grid.

      And oh, Thatcher and Reagan were wrong when it came to over-deregulation and lack of proper oversight.

      Look at how the finance sector on both sides of the pond tanked the economies of the US and the UK through their malfeasance/greed.

  • avatar

    Easy math. If requested incentive is less than the annual cost to supplement a Wal Mart worker × # of workers x actuarily calculated remaining life expectancy of the plant’s workforce you give the incentive. If not you don’t.

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