Sales are about to take off, eh? Toyota Motor Co. is counting on meeting what it says is "rising demand" for the Lexus RX450h by moving production of the crossover SUV hybrid north of the border.

The Japanese automaker plans to build about 15,000 units of the model annually at its factory in Cambridge, Ontario, starting in early 2014 (read this for a review of the 2010 model). Toyota will increase annual production at the factory that's about 50 miles southwest of Toronto by about 40 percent to 104,000 units, spread across Toyota and Lexus models. In all, Toyota will invest $100 million in the plant's expansion and hire about 400 more workers there.

Toyota's luxury badge has boosted hybrid sales this year, but not as much as models like the Prius. Still, Toyota, which doesn't break out Lexus hybrid sales by particular model, said it has boosted Lexus hybrid sales through June by 52 percent from a year earlier to 15,868 units in the U.S.
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Toyota to Expand Lexus RX Production in Canada
  • $100 Million Investment to Create Approximately 400 Jobs
  • North American Job Announcements Total 1,500 This Year
ERLANGER, Ky. (July 24, 2012) – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC) announced today that it will invest more than $100 million and hire approximately 400 team members to increase Lexus production at its Cambridge, Ontario facility. Overall Lexus capacity will increase by 30,000 vehicles to 104,000 units, including 15,000 RX450h vehicles, the hybrid electric version of the popular Lexus.

Toyota is targeting early 2014 for expanded Lexus production. "This is a big and ambitious project with new technology, exacting standards and tight timelines," said TMMC President, Brian Krinock. "Our team members have demonstrated time and time again that they thrive on these kinds of challenges."

TMMC currently manufactures the Toyota Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, RAV4 EV models and the Lexus RX model in plants located in Cambridge, ON and Woodstock, ON. The company currently employs approximately 6,500.

"The team members at TMMC have shown tremendous dedication to creating high-quality Lexus vehicles," said Mark Templin, Lexus General Manager. "With rising demand for our RX 450h hybrids, moving that production to an award-winning North American plant is great news for Lexus. We look forward to partnering with TMMC to continue the tradition of manufacturing outstanding RX luxury utility vehicles."

Today's announcement is the latest in a string of Toyota North American production increase announcements since February at plants in Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama and the second in Canada. Cumulative investment total is approximately $745 million and more than 1,500 jobs are being added.

"This Lexus production increase, and the several announcements before it, reflects our growing optimism for an improving North American market and our intent to localize more production," said Steve St. Angelo, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and currently operates 14 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,800 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold over 1.8 million vehicles in 2011. Toyota directly employs more than 37,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals nearly $25 billion. Toyota currently produces 12 vehicles in North America, including the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sienna, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza and the Lexus RX 350.

For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com or www.toyotanewsroom.com.

For more information about Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc., visit www.tmmc.ca.


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