Toyota to expand production of Lexus RX in Canada
Toyota Motor Corp. plans to expand production of the Lexus RX in Canada with a $100 million investment at its plant in Cambridge, Ontario.
The expansion will boost annual Lexus capacity at the factory by 30,000 vehicles to 104,000 units, the automaker said in a statement today. About 400 new jobs will be added at the operation. The expanded production -- which will include 15,000 RX450h electric hybrid vehicles -- is expected to begin in early 2014, Toyota said.
"This is a big and ambitious project with new technology, exacting standards and tight timelines," Brian Krinock, president of Toyota's Canada manufacturing unit, said in the statement.
Toyota's Cambridge plant is the only factory outside of Japan that makes Lexus models. In 2011, the plant produced 65,000 RX crossovers, the best-selling Lexus model globally. The company employs about 6,500 people there.
Grappling with a strong yen that makes it more expensive to export goods from Japan, Toyota has gradually been transferring some of its domestic production abroad, saying in principle it aims to make products near markets in which they are sold.
But Japan's biggest automaker has also repeatedly vowed to safeguard production of some 3 million vehicles a year in its home market, roughly triple the equivalent output at rivals Nissan and Honda.
North American expansion
Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi have all announced production expansions in North America in recent weeks.
Honda Motor Co. last week said it will boost capacity 25 percent, or by 50,000 units, at its plant in Greensburg, Ind., and launch production of the Civic Hybrid there early next year.
The $40 million investment will create 300 jobs by the end of the year, the company said. The Civic Hybrid is made in Japan now, but starting next year the Indiana plant will be the sole global source of the model, Honda said in a statement.