Tuesday, April 7, 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 Beijing Auto Show Postponed To Next Fall

It was scheduled for later this month. Beijing International Automotive Exhibition will now be held from September 26th to October 5th. The last big...

Hyundai Motor Extends Warranty Coverage For Owners

Warranties that end between March and May 2020, extended to June, 30th. This program involves more than 1.21 million vehicles worldwide. With the lock-down...

GM’s Newest Electric Vehicle is This Cute Little Wuling EV

Wuling EV is a Chinese-market electric minicar with room for four. Its electric motor produces 27 horsepower, and two battery capacities are available. ...

Lucid Air Sedan Prototypes Drives 400+ Highway Miles On A Single Charge

This range bests all current EVs including Tesla. The test was done at speeds up to 70mph. Actual road trip covered nearly 1,000...

The Airspeeder Electric Flying Car From Alauda Is Coming And Will Go Racing

First test-flights will take place this year. A first Grand Prix season will follow next year – details to come soon. Alauda is...
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.