Sunday, July 5, 2020
Features TMMC Cambridge: One of Toyota’s Footholds in Canada’s Auto Manufacturing

TMMC Cambridge: One of Toyota’s Footholds in Canada’s Auto Manufacturing

We had the chance to do a plant tour of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada's Cambridge factory.

Toyota’s got quite the foothold in automotive in Ontario, with both Woodstock and Cambridge plants assembling both Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The Japanese manufacturer invested a total of 8.5 billion dollars in those two manufacturing facilities, giving work to over 8000 employees work at both sites, assembling Toyota RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, and the Lexus RX 350 and 450h SUVs. For the 2018 model-year, TMMC assembled just under 500 000 units in both plants.

What is TMMC?

TMMC (Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada) is the company that takes care of the manufacturing for Toyota in Canada. But it also serves the U.S market. In fact, this independent entity has only two clients, Toyota Canada Inc (TCI) and Toyota Motor Sales in the United States.

We were given the opportunity to visit the Cambridge site, a 3.5M square feet facility sitting on a 400-acre piece of land close to Toronto, Ontario. The very first and very boxy Toyota Corolla came out of the factory in Woodstock here in 1984, that was 35 years ago. It now assembles the Lexus RX and the Toyota RAV4.

In-house processes and a hint of intelligent automation

While many auto manufacturers resort to the outsourcing of components, a process that requires less commitment in investments, but is overall more expensive; Toyota chose to invest in long term manufacturing process. Many components are made in house at both the Cambridge and Woodstock plants. For instance, TMMC sites incorporate their own blow-moulding facilities for different plastics that compose the interior and exterior of the vehicles. Pressing and welding are also all done in house using partly automated processes.

Like many auto manufacturing sites, TMMC’s plants have both human workforce and automated robotic arms to do the heavy work. However, both Cambridge and Woodstock sites recently included intelligent autonomous transport robots that basically carry components to different stations throughout the plant, navigating the pathways and the hustle and bustle of the plant’s floor using a variety of sensors for orientation.

What makes the difference between a Toyota and a Lexus?

Although both gas-powered RAV4 and the Lexus RX are both assembled at the same site, Toyota stipulates that TMMC gives different attention to both vehicles. Yes, both vehicles differ in looks, style and technology, but the materials chosen are specific to each vehicle. For instance, workers follow strict and continuous training to ensure that wood grains match perfectly throughout the Lexus vehicles.

Using concentration and visualization techniques, workers are also trained to assemble components together in order to ensure repeatability and consistency that can be qualified as, TMMC says, unparalleled in the industry. That is partly why, in the year 2000, the Cambridge and Woodstock sites were the only sites outside of Japan that were “allowed” to assemble Lexus vehicles.

At the beginning of this year, Toyota announced that TMMC would take on the task of assembling the Lexus NX and NXh in 2022.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada | Photo: Toyota

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada | Photo: Toyota

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada | Photo: Toyota

Trending Now

The Nikola Badger Electrified Pickup Truck Will Quench Your Thirst

Two versions of the Badge will be offered: 100% electric, and hydrogen fuel cell. Yes, another electric pickup – this is like going...

2021 Geneva Motor Show Officially Cancelled

Majority of GIMS exhibitors polled said they preferred not to attend in 2021 Show could be sold to Palexpo SA The 2021 Geneva International...

Tesla Is The World’s Most Valuable Carmaker After Overtaking Toyota

Tesla shares have nearly quintupled over the last 12 months. This is in part the result of an expected steady rise in EV...

Popular Toyota RAV4 Prime Orders Suspended In Japan

Toyota RAV4 PHV (Prime) went on sale June 8 in Japan Demand for the new plug-in hybrid SUV far exceeds supply Similar problem...

New 992 Porsche 911 Spotted With Integrated Ducktail Spoiler

The last Porsche 911 to offer such a spoiler was the brilliant 997 Sport Classic. Air intakes on rear wheel arches might indicate...
Louis-Philippe Dubé
Louis-Philippe Dubé
Louis-Philippe Dubé has been contributing at MotorIllustrated.com for over a year, and for the NetMedia360 network for nearly three years now. His passion for everything automotive comes from a career as a mechanic, but also from the family vehicle collection that includes a 996 Porsche Turbo and a 2004 Ford GT. We've been bugging him to drive the GT, but he hasn't responded. Send L-P an email

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.