We saw a lot of important cars get their grand debut at the New York International Auto Show this year, but by far the biggest reveal of the show was Toyota's new 2019 RAV4. In terms of sales, it's a real whale, handily outstripping all of its competitors from Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Subaru. What we didn't find out until now is where it will be built.
Somewhat surprisingly, the new RAV4 will be built not in Japan or America, but Canada. Toyota is pouring a veritable fountain of Loonies and Toonies on its two Ontario factories to get them up to snuff for their new increased workload. To be fair, the standard RAV4 has been built in the Great White North since 2008, but with the switch to the new TNGA architecture, Canada will be taking over production of the RAV4 Hybrid from Japan for the first time.
Toyota is investing a total of 1.4 billion Canadian dollars, or about $1.1 billion US, in increasing plant automation, specifically in the paints and plastics section of the plant. We can only hope that Toyota corporate has engaged the services of Canada's greatest living enginerd, AvE to make absolutely sure that the upgrades are certified "Skookum as frig."
Toyota's investment in the Ontario facilities is expected to create around 450 new jobs while preserving around 8,000 current ones, though to be fair, part of the money (around $200 million USD) is coming from both the Canadian government and the Ontario provincial government.