Ford deal paves way for electric vehicles – by Josh O’Kane (Globe and Mail – September 22, 2020)

The Canadian and Ontario governments will partner with Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. to invest $1.8-billion in its auto plant in Oakville, Ont., Unifor president Jerry Dias said on Tuesday, a significant step toward creating an electric-vehicle industry in Canada that would include manufacturers and suppliers.

The deal is part of a tentative three-year labour contract that was signed at about 5 a.m. on Tuesday after marathon talks between the union and the automaker.

The $1.8-billion will be largely dedicated to retooling the Oakville plant to build five electric vehicle models, the first of which will be scheduled to roll off the line in 2025, Mr. Dias said. Batteries will also be assembled at the plant.

The electric-vehicle investment was part of a $1.95-billion package Unifor announced that will also include upgrades to build engines at Ford in Windsor, Ont. Neither Ford, Unifor, Ottawa or Ontario would reveal how much of the funding would come from governments.

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