The Toyota group plans to shift North American-bound production of the Lexus RX crossover from Japan to its manufacturing facility in Canada as the company strives to cope with the yen’s continued strength.
Asia’s largerst automaker said that it will invest more than $100 million and hire approximately 400 workers to increase Lexus production at its Cambridge, Ontario facility from 30,000 vehicles today to 104,000 units, including 15,000 RX450h hybrids, beginning in early 2014.
Last year, Lexus sold close to 83,000 examples of the RX premium crossover model in North America, accounting for about 83 percent of worldwide sales. The company produced around 70,000 RX model’s at its Japanese plants in 2011.
Aside from the Lexus RX, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC) also builds the Toyota Corolla, Matrix, RAV4 and RAV4 EV models in plants located in Cambridge, ON and Woodstock, ON, with the company currently employing approximately 6,500 people.
The latest announcement regarding the Lexus RX will take Toyota’s manufacturing capacity in Canada to around 500,000 units per year.
In February, Toyota revealed that it would increase production at its North American sites in Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama and Canada. The company had said at the time that the cumulative investment total was around $745 million with more than 1,500 jobs to be added in the region.