Toyota’s Mexican Plan a Big Concern

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CBJ – Toyota has announced it is moving its Corolla production to Mexico, leaving grave concern about the long-term future of two Canadian assembly plants and its 8,000 workers.

Toyota Canada says production at its Cambridge, Ont., plant — half of the company’s regional profile, along with a Woodstock, Ont., factory — will be replaced with a high-end vehicle, but it hasn’t said which one.  However, the Corolla is the crown jewel for the automaker and a proven top seller, so having production done in Mexico is a major blow for the Canadian operation, no matter how one tries to sugarcoat it.

Thoughts and speculation are divided on the potential fallout in the region.  One union leader says it can only spell bad news.

Toyota said it will spend $1 billion to build a new plant in Mexico to produce 200,000 Corollas a year and employ 2,000 people. Some Corolla production will also go to Mississippi. Mexico offers aggressive subsidies that can offset up to 70% of a manufacturer’s re-tooling costs, figures that Canada can’t hope to match.


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