Japanese OEMs produced 47% of light vehicles made in Canada


Industry Automotive Manufacturing automotive Hino honda manufacturing Toyota

JAMA Canada study also shows automakers employed 38.6% of Canada’s automotive OEM workforce in 2018.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Lexus NX, coming to TMMC in 2022.
Photo: Joe Terrett

TORONTO — Automotive OEMs from Japan were close to producing half of the light vehicles manufactured in Canada, according to a study from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association of Canada (JAMA Canada).

JAMA is a non-profit trade association representing subsidiaries of Japanese automakers in Canada.

The Economic Contributions of the Japanese-Brand Automotive Industry in Canada, 2001-2018 reports Japanese OEMs produced 47% of light vehicles and employed 38.6% of Canada’s automotive OEM workforce in 2018.

The study by Greig Mordue (McMaster University) and Brendan Sweeney (Trillium Centre for Advanced Manufacturing/APRC) reveals Japanese automakers and suppliers employed more than 94,000 Canadians in 2018 – 14,560 in vehicle manufacturing, 17,776 in parts manufacturing, and 58,343 in vehicle dealerships.


The report also estimates more than 218,000 jobs are supported across Canada through direct, intermediate and spin-off employment.

“This updated analysis demonstrates that despite substantial restructuring and change in Canada’s auto industry, the economic contributions of Japanese-brand automotive manufacturers, dealerships, automotive parts and tire manufacturers continue to be substantial,” said Dave Gardner, JAMA Canada’s chairman, who is president/CEO of Honda Canada.

Manufacturers produced 930,040 cars and light-duty trucks in 2018, with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada producing nearly 500,000 and Honda Canada more than 430,000.

Toyota operates assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock, Ont., and Honda of Canada operates assembly and engine manufacturing plants and a manufacturing and processing facility in Alliston, Ont.

JAMA Canada said Honda hit its highest-ever levels of Canadian production, which follows significant investments at its assembly complex beginning in 2017.

In 2018, Hino Motors Canada produced a record 2,873 medium-duty trucks at its plant in Woodstock, Ont.

“These increases in vehicle production, employment, and earnings occurred during a period of industry restructuring and contraction, particularly in automotive manufacturing activities,” said David Worts, JAMA Canada’s executive director.

Some additional statistics since 1986:

• Japanese automakers have invested $13.9 billion, including $1.9 billion announced in 2017/2018, to create vehicle and engine manufacturing and assembly plants.

• More than 60 Japanese auto parts plants operate in Canada.

• Canada has been a net exporter of Japanese-brand vehicles since 1993 (more than 5 million).

• In 2018, Canada exported 3.7 times the number of Japanese-brand vehicles imported from Japan.

Click here for a copy of the report.



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