WOODSTOCK, Ontario (October 11, 2005) - Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) President Katsuaki Watanabe and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) President Ray Tanguay broke ground today at the future site of a new Toyota plant. This will be the first new "greenfield" automotive plant in Canada in nearly 20 years.
Announced in June, the Woodstock plant will be managed by TMMC in Cambridge. It opens in 2008 and represents a CDN$800 million/US$650 million investment. It will have the capacity to build 100,000 units annually of the next-generation Toyota RAV4 sport utility vehicle and will employ 1,300 team members. TMMC currently employs 4,300 at its Cambridge location where it produces the Corolla, Matrix and Lexus RX330.
Mr. Watanabe discussed Canada's importance to Toyota's North American strategy. "Last year North America accounted for 30 percent of Toyota's worldwide sales and we expect this number to grow as we begin production of the RAV4 here in Woodstock," he said. "This country is a core part of our extensive commitment to manufacturing in North America."
Mr. Watanabe cited three pivotal reasons for selecting Woodstock, Ontario for the investment: accessibility to world-class suppliers, an outstanding team in nearby Cambridge where Toyota has operated a plant since 1988 and the full support of Canadian national, provincial and local governments. "We love being in Canada and we look forward to a long and prosperous future in Woodstock, he added."
Actual site preparation started last month; foundation work is scheduled for next March and steel erection is set to begin in June of 2006. The building will be enclosed by the following winter with equipment installation scheduled in 2007. Start of production is set for 2008.
"Our job here in Woodstock is to make this the best plant in the world by being environmentally friendly, efficient and producing the highest quality vehicles," Tanguay said.
During the ceremony, Toyota announced the donation of a large private residence, located on the edge of the plant site, to the Victorian Order of Nurses to operate as a hospice. Tanguay reflected on the company's priority of being a good corporate citizen. "We do that by building vehicles and adding value to society. We also achieve it by strengthening the social fabric of communities through activities outside of the factory. We look forward to seeing this hospice up and running and are certain it is in very capable hands." Tanguay also observed that the groundbreaking ceremony represented "the start of a great partnership with Woodstock and Oxford County."