Toyota to produce Lexus NX for North America at Ontario plant

Images of ice tires of Lexus NX

Toyota Motor will build its Lexus NX luxury crossover vehicle at a Canadian plant starting in 2022, the company stated on Monday, a decision that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated showed the value of the nation’s international trade agreements.

The plant will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to produce the Lexus NX and its hybrid version at the factory located in Cambridge, Ontario, “supplying the entire North American market”, Trudeau stated in a presentation with Fred Volf, president of Toyota’s Canadian unit.

Mentioning Canada’s trade agreements with Mexico, the United States, Europe, and Asia, Trudeau stated: “We have preferential trade access to two-thirds of the worldwide economy. In fact, we’re the only G7 country that has free trade deals with every other G7 country.”

Trudeau, who deals with a tough re-election contest in October, stated the plans by Toyota, one of the world’s largest automakers, will help guarantee 8,000 jobs and the factory.

This is the first time that the Lexus NX and NX hybrid sport utility vehicles are going to be manufactured outside of Japan. The automotive sector is Canada’s largest export industry, backing more than 525,000 jobs, the prime minister’s office stated, and Toyota is the nation’s largest automotive manufacturer.

The declaration is a “counter-narrative” for Canada’s automaking industry following latest bad news from other automakers, stated Flavio Volpe, president of the Toronto-based Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, mainly in the province of Ontario.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV stated in March it would slash a shift at its Windsor assembly plant, resulting in 1,500 job losses, and General Motors stated last year it would close its Oshawa factory by the end of this year.

Strategies to assemble the NX in Canada “means that Toyota’s Canadian manufacturing operations are here to stay,” Volf stated, adding that the vehicles are “the most technologically advanced and the most in-demand cars in Toyota-Lexus global lineup.”

Trudeau hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Ottawa on Sunday. Both touted the advantages of a Pacific trade deal that U.S. President Donald Trump walked away from.

Trudeau stated he had talked about the project to build the Lexus NX in Canada with Chief Executive Akio Toyoda on April 1.

“When we last discussed just a few weeks ago, we discussed the potential of this new Lexus mandate,” Trudeau stated.

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