Toyota to Add Production of Two Lexus Models in Canada, Report Claims

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
toyota to add production of two lexus models in canada report claims

Toyota dropped a big hint this week that new product might be on its way to the Great White North, saying an announcement will be made Monday that “will serve to further reaffirm Toyota’s commitment to manufacturing in Canada.”

The automaker operates three assembly plants in southwest Ontario, with the Cambridge North facility tapped for next week’s big news. Bloomberg seems eager to kill the suspense, however, with plugged-in sources telling the publication that two Lexus crossovers stand to join the company’s Canuck assembly scene.

If confirmed, it’s good news for a country facing a doomed General Motors plant and a dropped shift at Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor minivan plant.

Those sources claim Cambridge, home to two of Toyota’s plants, will add production of both the Lexus NX compact crossover and the three-row variant of the RX starting in 2022.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) has long hinted that new products could be on the horizon, underlining the suggestion with a $1.4 billion plant upgrade announced early last year. Last month, Toyota kicked off RAV4 production at Cambridge North, replacing long-running Corolla production that moved stateside. The company’s Woodstock plant also builds RAV4s, while the Cambridge South plant cranks out Lexus RX 350 and RX 450H models.

A production U-turn freed up space in Cambridge for new product. While Toyota originally planned to assemble all North American RAV4 hybrid models at that facility, the automaker recently shifted production of RAV4 hybrids bound for U.S. sale to its Kentucky facility. Cambridge will continue building RAV4 hybrids for Canadian customers and a narrow slice of the U.S. market.

With capacity freed up, it seems Toyota wants bring NX production to America’s doorstep. It’s expected that the next-generation NX will appear next year, possibly as a late-arriving 2020 model. The lengthened RX also hails from Japan.

TMMC built 497,354 vehicles in Canada last year, with roughly half of the RAV4s sold in the U.S. originating north of the border.

[Images: Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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  • Rengaw Rengaw on Apr 27, 2019

    Has anyone seen the mouth on the new Toyota Avalon? Whyyyyyyyyyy? Is that specific design intended to scare off small children and give them nightmares?

  • Rengaw Rengaw on Apr 27, 2019

    Worth saying twice.

    • Michael S6 Michael S6 on Apr 27, 2019

      The Avalon is actually a very good car but Toyota made it extra ugly to force you to spend an extra $10 k to buy the much less ugly grill of the Lexus ES350.

  • Hunter Ah California. They've been praying for water for years, and now that it's here they don't know what to do with it.
  • FreedMike I think this illustrates a bit of Truth About PHEVs: it's hard to see where they "fit." On paper, they make sense because they're the "best of both worlds." Yes, if you commute 20-30 miles a day, you can generally make it on electric power only, and yes, if you're on a 500-mile road trip, you don't have to worry about range. But what percentage of buyers has a 20-mile commute, or takes 500-mile road trips? Meanwhile, PHEVs are more expensive than hybrids, and generally don't offer the performance of a BEV (though the RAV4 PHEV is a first class sleeper). Seems this propulsion type "works" for a fairly narrow slice of buyers, which explains why PHEV sales haven't been all that great. Speaking for my own situation only, assuming I had a place to plug in every night, and wanted something that ran on as little gas as possible, I'd just "go electric" - I'm a speed nut, and when it comes to going fast, EVs are awfully hard to beat. If I was into hypermiling, I'd just go with a hybrid. Of course, your situation might vary, and if a PHEV fits it, then by all means, buy one. But the market failure of PHEVs tells me they don't really fit a lot of buyers' situations. Perhaps that will change as charging infrastructure gets built out, but I just don't see a lot of growth in PHEVs.
  • Kwik_Shift Thank you for this. I always wanted get involved with racing, but nothing happening locally.
  • Arthur Dailey Love the Abe Rothstein tribute suits. Too bad about the car. Seems to have been well loved for most of its life.
  • K. R. Worth noting that the climate control is shared with (donated to) the Audi 5000 of the mid-late 1980s.