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Toyota commits to Ontario plants with additional SUV assembly

Gary Goodyear, minister of state responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, speaks at Toyota's Cambridge, Ont. facility in July.
Gary Goodyear, minister of state responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, speaks at Toyota's Cambridge, Ont. facility in July. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Lynett

CAMBRIDGE, Ont. – Toyota Canada’s manufacturing complex in Cambridge, Ont., will build the RAV4 compact sport vehicle, providing some certainty about the operation’s future after work on the Corolla moves to Mexico.

The Japanese automaker says its Canadian subsidiary will become a North American hub for making sport utility vehicles.

Toyota Canada already makes the RAV4 in Woodstock, Ont., about 55 kilometres southwest of Cambridge.

It also makes two models of the Lexus RX SUV at one of two assembly plants in Cambridge.

The RAV4 and a hybrid version of the vehicle will be built at the North assembly plant in Cambridge starting in 2019.

Taxpayer funds

In July, the federal and provincial governments announced a deal with car maker that will see $100 million in taxpayer funds used to help expand Toyota’s manufacturing operations in southern Ontario.

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The money will go towards the automaker’s planned $421-million investment at the Cambridge and Woodstock plants.

Ottawa’s contribution will be a repayable loan of $59 million — about 14 per cent of the cost of the project — while the Ontario government is kicking in a grant of $42.1 million, or 10 per cent.