Canada will be Home to Hybrid Manufacturing
Canada is going to be building its first in-house hybrid vehicle with the help of $34 million provincial and federal grant to Toyota.
Hybrids, which use a combination of electricity and gasoline, are not new to the market. Mixed engines have been on Canadian roads for quite a while now, including Toyota’s well known Prius. But now, thanks to the increase in government funding, the RX 450 Lexus will be getting its final assembly in a plant in Ontario rather than in Japan.
The RX 450 hit the sweet spot as Canada continues to favour environmental innovation and local car manufacturing. Canada and Ontario are splitting the $34M bill, while Toyota has promised to throw in $125 million for a plant that is expected to create 400 jobs, not to mention all those in transport operations and other support businesses.
As a luxury SUV, the final product isn’t cheap. A bit shy of a starting cost of $57,000, the RX 450 is not the top choice for most budget-conscious buyers. But from an engineering standpoint, hybrid cars resolve some of the technology issues with electric cars and help relieve the environmental damage caused by gasoline cars. Also, the RX 450 is like many of the more recent hybrids and lets the driver decide if they want fuel efficiency or sporty speed. As you auto sales college graduates will be explaining to your future customers, you get what you pay for, and the extra features and technology will definitely cause the price to go up.
On the business side, Canada is struggling to keep its auto industry’s head above water. There’s actually nothing wrong with the car market. In fact there are more cars on the road than ever before. But an increasingly global world means that every year it gets a bit more competitive. Auto technician training will never be a risky choice, but on the factory floor, Canada has to compete with assembly workers all around the planet.
What do you think? Is it worth trying to bring more of the manufacturing process to Canada?