By on May 4, 2018

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.]

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8 Comments on “Time to Retool: Toyota to Dump a Billion Loonies Into Ontario’s RAV4 Plants...”

  • avatar

    Nice to see some investment into the Canadian manufacturing heartland.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Which is the better bet to continue selling strongly for the next decade plus, the RAV4 or the Corolla?

    And will hybrids continue expanding their market share?

    Wynne must be jumping with joy that she finally has some good news to promote.

    • 0 avatar

      @Arthur – If one considers the CUV boom, I’d go with the Rav4. If fuel prices continue to climb in the GVRD, hybrids are a good bet too. Currently 152.9 to 156.9/litre.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Corolla- car sales will continue to fall as long as our roads keep getting worse.

      Hybrids- green buyers are swiching to fully electric vehicles. High milage drivers usually do most of their driving on the highway, where hybrids don’t offer a significant reduction in fuel consumption. Hybrid sales are falling and will continue to fall.

      Rav4-Will continue to be one if the top selling vehicles in its class, but All automakers keep improving their reliability. Giving buyers less of a reason to buy a Toyota product.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree with Lou the Rav4 is the one to go with. Rav4 is still more fuel efficient than many crossovers and its not like you would take a huge mpg penalty over a Corolla.

  • avatar

    Hey! My wife’s next RAV4 will be built in Woodstock, 30 kms from home (~20 miles). It also keeps jobs in a town which is very auto manufacturing dependant. Now if we can just keep the GM plant going here in Ingersoll the economy and housing market may keep bubbling along.

  • avatar

    As a current owner of a 2006 3rd Gen I will wait 2 or 3 years into this generation and then take a look at replacing mine.

  • avatar

    $780M for a vehicle that should do about 300K/year… so maybe 1.5M over the course of its existence. $520/RAV4 for all new tooling? Profitable volume is nice.

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