Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. is "critical" to the automaker with revenue growing 15 per cent this year over last to $12.5 billion, more than $2 billion a month, he said during a recent telephone town hall call-in.
"Toyota is a profitable, consistently successful company," which has recovered from the economic downturn and impact of the Japanese tsunami, he said.
"The company is back, firing on all cylinders."
Among Stanford's observations:
- TMMC produced 519,000 units last year and production is ramping up. In the last three months 139,000 vehicles were assembled, an annual pace to make 560,000 vehicles.
- Its labour costs in Canada are in line with labour costs in the northern U.S. and will drop if the Canadian dollar drops in value.
- TMMC assembles vehicles for sale in North America "Toyota's strongest market" and sales here are rising, make the Ontario plants vital to the automaker.
- Stanford and Unifor National President Jerry Dias sit with TMMC chief executive Ray Tanguay on the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council and enjoy a good working relationship with the CEO, which will continue once the plant is unionized.
- Toyota works "very well" with unions in plants around the world, and will at TMMC as well.
"They are in Canada for the long run and will learn to deal well with the union here. Canada is very important to Toyota and will stay that way," said Stanford.
"There is no doubt Toyota is here to stay."