Toyota, governments make major investment in Ontario assembly plants
July 5, 2011 by With files from the Canadian Press
Toyota Canada, along with the Ontario and federal governments, will invest $545 million to increase productivity at the automaker’s Cambridge and Woodstock assembly plants, a move the province says will secure 6,500 jobs.
The Ontario and federal governments will each contribute $70.8 million to support the production of cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles at Toyota’s Ontario plants.
The plan – dubbed “Project Green Light” – was revealed Tuesday morning at the company’s plant in Cambridge by Gary Goodyear, federal minister of state for science and technology, and John Milloy, Ontario’s minister of training, colleges and universities.
“The development and implementation of innovative, fuel-efficient technologies are key to a competitive, forward-looking automotive industry in Canada,” said Goodyear. “The presence of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada has been a tremendous boost to, not only the local economies of Cambridge and Woodstock, but also to Ontario and Canada.”
Project Green Light will focus on maximizing production efficiency, implementing advanced vehicle technologies and carrying out environmental upgrades to plant facilities. The project includes upgrading the paint shop at Toyota’s Cambridge North assembly plant. This will involve the conversion of the base coat paint booths from a solvent-borne system to a water-borne system, which will result in lower emissions and minimize the environmental impact of Toyota’s manufacturing facility. The funds will also support other plant upgrades, including new machinery and equipment, employee training, and projects to increase efficiency and reduce waste.
“We’re pleased to help Toyota provide state-of-the-art training and equipment to families in our community. This investment will help Toyota maintain its competitive edge in the global market,” Milloy said.
“The strong support that we have received from both the federal and provincial governments is very important because it allows us to give these initiatives priority and helps to secure our production footprint in Canada,” said Ray Tanguay, chairman of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.
Federal funding for the project was made through the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF), which provides support for strategic, large-scale research and development projects in the automotive sector. The AIF was established to help automotive-related firms strengthen their capacity for innovation and to position them to compete successfully in the global economy, create jobs and support the development and implementation of innovative, fuel-efficient technologies.
The plant in Cambridge assembles the Toyota Corolla and the Lexus RX350 crossover utility vehicle, while the nearby plant in Woodstock assembles the RAV4 crossover.