(WINDSOR, ON) – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne were on hand in Windsor today to join with Ford and Unifor officials for a major investment announcement. Also on hand were the Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, and the Provincial Minister of Economic Development and Growth, Brad Duguid.
The quartet were joined on stage by Ford of Canada president Mark Buzzell Unifor national president Jerry Dias, and Unifor local 200 president Chris Taylor. They announced a $1.2 Billion investment into Ford’s Canadian operations including $500 million earmarked for research and development and a new engineering facility in Ottawa.
“This investment demonstrates how Ford is transforming to be both an auto and mobility company,” said Buzzell. “With strategic partnerships, Canada can compete and win in the global auto industry.”
Ford’s spending commitment opened the door for investments by the federal and provincial governments of $104.2 million each in the hopes of creating and maintaining almost 800 jobs. The federal spending is coming from the government’s Automotive Innovation Fund.
“It is a great day for Windsor and Canada,” said Dias. “Today is a celebration of opportunity and hope. It really is about our future.”
Budgeted in the expenditures are funds earmarked for the the Powertrain Engineering Research and Development Centre in Windsor and to transform the EEP into an all-new global engine program and world-class engine facility. The new Windsor facility will develop technologies to make vehicles lighter and more fuel efficient.
“Today’s investments will help create and maintain almost 800 great jobs for Canadians in Windsor and across Ontario, while equipping Canadians with the skills they need to design and build the cars of the future,” said Trudeau. “This is about positioning Canada as a global centre for automotive innovation, creating better opportunities for Canadians, and keeping Canada’s automotive manufacturing sector competitive.”
Additional locations will be created in Waterloo and Oakville, and will focus on connectivity research and development across infotainment, in-vehicle modems, gateway modules, driver-assist features, and self-driving cars. Ford’s total investment for Ontario facilities is estimated at $700 million.
Ford of Canada currently operates with one head office, three regional offices, three assembly and engine plants, and two parts distribution centres.
“We’re investing in Ford of Canada to create jobs for Canadians and strengthen Canada’s auto manufacturing industry,” Trudeau said. “The Canadian role in the auto sector is important.”