In 1964, Toyota granted a distributorship agreement to Canadian Motor Industries, Ltd. (CMI), which later became Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI). The following year, 755 new Toyota vehicles were parked in driveways across Canada, including the Crown, Land Cruiser and 700UP10.
Our journey continues 50 years later, and TCI has come a long way. From our cars, to our facilities, to our research and charitable initiatives, we are invested in, and committed to, Canadians.
In 2013, more than 195,000 customers drove home one of our 40 different vehicles currently available to meet the diverse needs and lifestyles of Canadians. These individuals are part of our ever growing family which now tops 4.6 million owners from coast to coast – owners who appreciate the quality, reliability and dependability that comes from Toyota. And, since 1988, we not only sell cars in Canada, we make them here too. Half of the vehicles we sell today, including the popular Corolla and RAV4, are made at one of two Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC) facilities.
Along the way, Canadians have also explored new technologies with us, notably hybrid engine technology which Toyota brought to Canada in 2000 with the launch of the Toyota Prius. Today, our line-up includes hybrid versions of the ever popular Camry and Highlander and, a family of Prius vehicles: the original and iconic Prius, the Prius c – the first and only hybrid subcompact, the Prius v – a hybrid crossover built with Canadian families in mind, and the Prius Plug-in – a hybrid that can also operate as an electric-only vehicle.
As we mark our 50th anniversary, we also mark another milestone: the sale of our 100,000th hybrid vehicle. Seventy-five per cent of the hybrid vehicles sold in Canada are Toyota models. Combined, they have allowed Canadian drivers to reduce CO2 emissions by 600,000 tonnes and save more than 259 million litres of fuel*. With Toyota’s continued efforts to develop more efficient gasoline engines and explore fuel cell vehicle technology, we look forward to offering even more options in the future.
We are also very proud to be part of the lives of so many Canadians and to be part of the social and economic fabric of this country.
We employ 700 associates at TCI. With our colleagues at Toyota Financial Services (TFS), TMMC and our parts companies in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, we have a team of almost 11,000 associates. Add to that our network of 285 dealerships and Toyota associates grow to 24,000 people.
Through the Toyota Canada Foundation and other giving initiatives we donate millions to support community activities across the country. We’re proud to contribute to programs such as Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds, which helps schools create outdoor classrooms, providing students with a healthy place to learn, play and develop respect for the environment. Through our sponsorship of the kartSTART program, we’re also helping teach young Canadians and their parents about safe driving practices and vehicle safety technologies. And through our Dream Car Art Contest, we encourage youth to express their creativity and imagination, inspiring interest in vehicle design and innovation, to shape the future of mobility.
We fund research and development projects to improve safety and mobility as well. The Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) is studying how vehicles can help drivers avoid risky driving behaviours, while at a dedicated Toyota cold weather testing facility in Timmins, Ontario we put vehicles to the test in extreme winter weather circumstances. This testing ensures our customers can expect the same dependability from their vehicles, no matter the weather.
We also proudly celebrate our continued commitment to kaizen – the philosophy of continuous improvement – and to sustainability, both of which infuse every aspect of our business. You can see our commitments at work in how we maintain our facilities, in our waste reduction programs, and the recycling initiatives at our manufacturing facilities and dealerships. We’re always striving to be better at what we do.
As we look to the future, we believe that the best is yet to come. We’re bringing innovative products to market, including our new for 2015 models: the Camry and Camry Hybrid, Yaris Hatchback, and Sienna – to excite drivers more than ever before through bold design, exceptional performance and advanced technology for optimized driver comfort and safety.
We are grateful to our Canadian customers for making Toyota a part of their lives for the past 50 years. Our passion is fueled by their steadfast support and loyalty – they inspire our innovation and motivate us to build today, for an even better tomorrow. Here’s to our next 50 years in Canada!
* Figures calculated based on total Toyota/Lexus hybrid units sold since 2000 using approved Government of Canada test methodology.