A red Lexus RX 350, coming off the production line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada's (TMMC) Cambridge, Ontario assembly plant today, holds the distinction being the 5-millionth Toyota automobile to be built in Canada.
TMMC began operations in Cambridge in 1988, in a plant designed to produce just 50,000 vehicles per year – approximately the same number of vehicles Toyota sold in Canada at that time.
Today, TMMC has two assembly plants in Canada, in Cambridge and Woodstock, Ontario, with the combined capacity to build more than 500,000 vehicles annually – more than twice as many vehicles as Toyota sells here each year.
It took TMMC 11 years to build its first million vehicles. It is likely that the next million will be built in less than two years from now.
Currently, Toyota builds five products in Canada: Toyota Corolla and Toyota Matrix (TMMC North Plant - Cambridge); Lexus RX 350, (TMMC South Plant - Cambridge); and Toyota RAV4, and RAV4 EV (TMMC West Plant - Woodstock).
"From humble beginnings, today TMMC is a globally respected manufacturing operation that can produce more than 500,000 vehicles per year," said TMMC chairman, Ray Tanguay, who is also a managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation – the only Canadian to achieve that status in the Toyota organization.
"Our success has allowed us to create more good jobs for Canadians and become a better corporate citizen for our community," he added.
Current employment has grown from the level of 1000 anticipated in 1988 to more than 6,500. The Woodstock plant will add 400 new jobs by January 2013 and the Lexus operation in Cambridge will add another 400 jobs by January 2014.
Beginning in early 2014, the RX 450h hybrid version of the Lexus RX will also be built in Cambridge.