Toyota invests in hybrids in Canada

Toyota RAV4s move down the assembly line in Woodstock

Upon completion of the upgrades, the Cambridge and Woodstock factories will become Toyota's North American manufacturing hub for the RAV4, including hybrid versions.

Toyota said the money will be invested in its Cambridge North plant and its West plant in Woodstock, Ont to give it flexibility in its vehicle manufacturing.

The investment will support more than 8,000 jobs in Southwestern Ontario, and will create 450 new jobs as well as 1,000 new co-op placements. During 2017, Toyota sold 407,594 RAV4s in the USA, topping Camry sedan sales for the first time. This landmark investment - coming at a time of uncertainty in the North American auto industry - makes the Cambridge and Woodstock plants highly competitive among Toyota's global operations, supporting the long-term viability of vehicle production in Ontario.

Trudeau, who paid a visit to the Cambridge plant earlier, hailed the "smart decision that further establishes our country as the place where cars of the future are built".

"Ontario has always been a great home for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada", said Fred Volf, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.

"It's a vote of confidence in our talented workforce and in our entire province", she said.

Vehicle assembly and auto parts production directly supports more than 100,000 jobs in Ontario, with hundreds of thousands more spin-off jobs across the province.

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Toyota built 153 cars the first year it began manufacturing in Canada in 1988.

Toyota says it will invest $200 million in Canadian research and development over ten years.

The upgrades, which include new automation technology in the paint and plastics departments, are to be completed by 2019.

With a simple, story-based user interface, the new Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

On average, the Canadian auto sector manufactures one vehicle every 13 seconds. In the United States in 2017, the RAV4 was the best-selling vehicle that is not a pickup truck, with sales of more than 400,000.

The Canadian and Ontario governments will each provide up to $110 million toward the projects.

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