By on April 29, 2019

A revamped version of a compact Lexus crossover that’s seen a fair bit of exposure on these digital pages will begin assembly in Ontario starting in early 2022, Toyota Canada has announced.

We knew some sort of product announcement was scheduled to take place today after the automaker’s Canadian arm stopped and shook everyone in sight last week, eager to signal its committed to maintaining a presence in the snowy country north of Buffalo. The Lexus NX is that product, Toyota says, with Canadian production replacing Japanese output.

For Canucks fearful that their fragile auto industry will one day disappear, the addition of a new crossover — a vehicle type seemingly without a sales ceiling — is a reassuring balm.

“It means that Toyota’s Canadian manufacturing operations are here to stay,” Toyota Canada Fred Volf said at the automaker’s Cambridge, Ontario facility, as reported by CBC. “It means that we will continue to be a leader in Canada and globally.”

The Lexus NX product line will join the Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid at the company’s Cambridge North Plant, which has space to spare following the ceasing of Corolla production in February. The 2019 RAV4 line started production there in March. Addition RAV4 output comes from the company’s Woodstock, Ontario plant.

Toyota Canada spokesmen Michael Bouliane and Scott MacKenzie told TTAC that, contrary to some reports, the second-generation NX will appear in 2021, with production of the revamped model kicking off when the Cambridge assembly line comes online early the following year. Earlier reports had the model showing up a year earlier. As well, rumors of the lengthened RX 350L coming to Canada were apparently just that, as both men claim no knowledge of any further product announcements in the near future. Lexus’ RX 350 and RX 450h are built at the adjoining Cambridge South plant.

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

A lot of money made this product addition (as well as that of the next-gen RAV4) possible, and not all of it was Toyota’s. While Toyota announced a $1.4 billion investment in its Canadian operations last year, the governments of Canada and Ontario each ponied up $110 million to sweeten the idea of staying in the country — a common (some would say “expected”) practice in the Great White North.

Will that combo of private and public cash create any new jobs? Toyota didn’t say during the announcement, though Bouliane stated that employment levels should remain stable. “I don’t see it going up or down very much” in the near future, he said. Toyota Canada employs 8,500 workers at its three Ontario assembly plants.

In March, the automaker announced that it would move some production of the RAV4 Hybrid to the U.S., but only in an overflow capacity, and for U.S. customers only.

As for the NX, the model remains a competent entry in the compact premium crossover segment, but could do with some upgrades — the six-speed automatic transmission, for example, looks antiquated next to some of the NX’s rivals. Still, it remains the brand’s second best-selling model, with 62,079 units sold in the U.S. last year.

[Images: Steph Willems/TTAC]

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4 Comments on “Second-generation Lexus NX Production Kicks Off in Canada in 2022...”

  • avatar

    “…While Toyota announced a $1.4 billion investment in its Canadian operations last year, the governments of Canada and Ontario each ponied up $110 million to sweeten the idea of staying in the country — a common (some would say “expected”) practice in the Great White North…”

    As opposed to the hundreds of millions in tax breaks given away by US states to attract businesses.

    • 0 avatar

      I was hoping that Toyota would have made that very investment in the US State of Mississippi, arguably the poorest state in America, after New Mexico.

      So obviously, it was easier for Canada to pony up the money than it was for MS to FIND that money.

      You win some, you lose some.

  • avatar

    Speaking as a tax paying Ontarian …Kudos to Toyota ! Toyota sells a lot of vehicles here. Toyota builds a lot of vehicles here.

    GM Canada …Are you paying attention ? Hows that old “ignore the competition business plan ” working for you so far ???

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