Toyota Increases RAV4 Manufacturing; Creates 400 Jobs
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada announced today the increase in production of RAV4 models at its Woodstock, Ontario assembly plant. Taking its annual capacity from 150,00 to 200,000 by early 2013, Toyota will invest $80 million in operations, a result of approximately 400 new jobs by implementation.
This increase in production is a direct result of Toyota’s adoption of several projects in 2011, this specifically being titled Project Green Light.
"We are optimistic that the market is coming back and we're grateful for the strong sales of the RAV4 in the North American market, which has created this increase in production and jobs,” said Ray Tanguay, TMMC Chairman.
Manufacturing increases by Toyota are supported by both the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
"Our Government welcomes the news of increased production at Toyota's Woodstock plant, and congratulates the company on the success of the RAV 4," said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry. "Together, Toyota's Canadian plants represent one of the company's largest, most successful manufacturing operations in the world, leading to jobs and growth in those communities and for Canadians."
The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation added, "I'm pleased to see that Toyota will be increasing production of the RAV4, resulting in the creation of more jobs in this important sector. This is great news for the auto industry in Ontario and shows the strength and diversity of the sector in the province. This expansion demonstrates that Ontario made the right decision by supporting the development of Toyota's manufacturing presence here in Ontario."
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This increase in production is a direct result of Toyota’s adoption of several new initiatives last year in an effort to increase productivity and support its production of greener, more fuel efficient vehicles. Under this new direction, Toyota announced previously its introduction of the new RAV4 EV into production at the Woodstock, Ont plant beginning in 2012—the first Toyota electric vehicle to be built in North America.
"From the moment TMMC opened the Woodstock plant, Team Members have consistently built quality in to each and every RAV4. Our customers recognize and appreciate their skill,” said Brian Krinock, President of TMCC.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.