Where Is the Toyota RAV4 Made? A Historical Overview

Where is the Toyota RAV4 made is a common question, mainly because it’s one of the most common SUVs in the US.

Where Is the Toyota RAV4 Made

The car is manufactured in different countries, including Japan, China, Canada and the United States.

Find out all the necessary information you need to know regarding the making and manufacturing of this vehicle.

Where Are the Toyota RAV4 Cars Made and Designed? 

The Toyota RAV4 cars are made, designed, manufactured and assembled across different countries like Japan, China, Russia, Canada and recently, the United States. The Japanese car company Toyota has manufacturing plants in all the countries listed above where the RAV4 undergoes production or assembly. 

This vehicle components originate in different parts of the world before it becomes whole. For example, most of the RAV4s you see in the US are only assembled in the Georgetown Toyota Assembly in the US. Other components are the engine produced in different parts of the world, depending on where you get your vehicle. The engine is in Japan or the U.S, while the transmission system is in Japan or Canada.

Which Toyota Plants in Japan Make the RAV4?

The Toyota plants in Japan that make the RAV4 include the Shimoyama, Motomachi, Tahara, and Nakagawa plants. The Shimoyama factory is one of the oldest Toyota motor manufacturing facilities. It started operation around 1966 and covers an expansive area of more than 30 million square feet.

Which Toyota Plants in Japan Make the RAV4

The facility employs more than four thousand workers building parts for the RAV4 engine components and transmission system. Another one is the Motomachi plant, located in the same area – Toyota City, Aichi. The factory is smaller at about 20 million square feet and employs about 2,000 staff. The main operation here involves vehicle assembly. 

The RAV4 has been assembled in the Motamachi plant since it hit the market. However, there are two other Toyota factories in Toyota city, Japan: the Tahara plant and the Nakagawa plant. Both factories deal with the manufacturing of engine components, blocks, cylinder heads, and transmission systems.

Where Is the Location of Other Toyota Factories Outside Japan?

The location of other Toyota factories outside Japan includes the United States, Russia, China, and Canada. One of the first Toyota facilities outside of Japan is the one in Georgetown, Kentucky, US. The factory opened sometime in 1988 as an assembling plant for Toyota products.

This facility started producing the RAV4 from the third generation — in 2006 to 2013. The Toyota Plant in Changchun, China, started operation around 2005, and like the American plant, it’s been producing RAV4 since the third generation. The factory in Canada and Russia are located in Woodstock, Ontario, and St. Petersburg, respectively.

The Canadian plant started operation in 2008, and the European one a year after. Like the Chinese and American factories, the Ontario facility has been manufacturing RAV4 since the 3rd generation. However, the Russian facility began production of the SUV in its fourth generation.

Are the European-built RAV4s Better Than Japanese Ones?

No, European built RAV4s are not better than the Japanese ones. However, since the company is native to Japan, you’d probably think the one built in the home country is better. You may not be wrong, considering the RAV4 is among the best cars in the country. 

Nevertheless, this shouldn’t be a significant reason for an argument. Regardless of the production site, the cars are often subjected to similar production experiences to ensure they are exactly the same. Therefore, it is unlikely that one is superior to another.

All RAV4s from both nations have enough room to accommodate five passengers comfortably. Unlike many other SUVs, this vehicle has top-notch gas mileage, perhaps one of the main reasons for its wide acceptance. In addition, it has excellent handling for smooth driving and ample cargo space to accommodate luggage when going on a road trip.

– Toyota RAV4s in the Australian Market

Toyota RAV4s in the Australian Market

All the Toyota RAV4s in the Australian market are produced directly from the home nation — Japan. Since Japan has the closest motor manufacturing plant to Australia, the vehicles are created there and shipped to Australia. Take note that there are no manufacturing plants for RAV4s in Australia.

– RAV4 Engines Manufacturing Location

All of the engines used in U.S. Toyota vehicles are made and manufactured in Toyota Motor Manufacturing, located in Alabama. This manufacturing plant is one of the biggest that the company operates, producing up to 3,000 engines each day with the help of its 1,800 team members.

RAV4 Engines Manufacturing Location

The engines of well-loved Toyota models such as RAV4, Corolla, Corolla Cross, Highlander, Tundra, Tacoma, Sienna, and Sequoia are all produced in this branch. With 1.3 million square feet at its disposal, this plant is the only one that builds four-cylinder, V-6 and twin-turbo engines all under one roof.

– Different RAV4 Toyota Versions and Where They Are Made

The different RAV4 Toyota versions range from the first generation in 1994, to the fifth generation, which launched in 2019. The sixth generation is said to enter the market in 2024. The first variant was developed in Japan (Motomachi and Tahara plants) and China (Zhuhai and Guangdong facilities).

However, the second generation — 2001 to 2005 — was produced only in Japan, at the Tahara and Nakagusa plants. During the development of the third generation, the Woodstock plant in Canada was established and became part of the production facilities. However, the production of this series of vehicles from 2005 to 2012 started in China.

Toyota opened the Russian facility before the production of the fourth generation (2013 to 2018). Since then, RAV4 has been manufactured across China, Canada, Russia and the home country, Japan.

Where Is the RAV4 Designed?

The Toyota RAV4 is designed by Japanese designers in their main headquarters located in Japan. From the first unit until the latest model, all generations of this reliable vehicle are thoughtfully designed by experts such as Tatsuya Sonoda, who designed the Toyota RAV4’s fifth generation model.

Where Is the RAV4 Designed

The RAV4 did not just become the everyday vehicle you see on the road and in your neighbor’s driveway. They built their reputation as dependable through a series of generations, each being better than the last until they became a global market’s mainstay. Toyota makes it a habit to solve the customers’ challenges in their next model, further improving customer acceptance and gaining trust.

This makes the latest RAV4s highly dependable, well-designed, and efficient. In fact, customers now overlook the fact that these vehicles are crossovers SUVs since they provide enough room, making them a perfect fit as a family car. Also, compared to similar vehicles, they show good mileage, which makes them an excellent choice for long-distance road travellers. 

How To Know Where Your RAV4 Was Manufactured?

To know where your RAV4 was manufactured, you have to check the Vehicle Identification Number. The VIN consists of about 17 characters providing information about your vehicle, including the production site. The first character often denotes where your car was manufactured, with others meaning something else.

For Toyota RAV4, below is the interpretation of the first character that tells you the country in which your car was assembled:

  • J denotes Japan
  • L denotes China
  • 2 refers to Canada
  • Combinations that fall within X0 and X3 denote Russia
  • 4 or 5 indicates North America

– Importance of Knowing Where Your Car Was Built

The knowledge of where your car was fabricated may prove vital when trying to decode the user’s manual. The user manual is often written in the manufacturer’s language. In addition, you may want to know where your car was built for sentimental reasons.


The RAV4 is a popular SUV because of its stylish appearance and the comfort it provides its users.

Below is a concise summary of all that we have already discussed thus far. 

  • The Toyota RAV4 is a global brand manufactured in several countries, including the US, Russia, Canada and the parent company Japan.
  • Toyota has four manufacturing plants in Japan, where each facility manufactures different components of the RAV4 and other Toyota vehicles.
  • By checking the first character of the VIN, you can find out where your Toyota motor was manufactured.
  • The RAV4 has been in the market since 1994, already having five different generations.

Though this vehicle is not a genuine SUV, it provides you with enough passenger and cargo space, making it an ideal family car for road trips. 

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