Billions in government subsidies are going to keep automakers in the country — and so far it’s working
To the surprise of some, if not many, all five of the global automakers who assemble cars and trucks in Canada have committed to making electric vehicles and hybrids here — or “the cars of the future” in the words of federal industry minister François-Philippe Champagne.
The promises required billions of dollars of enticement from the federal and Ontario governments, but there’s no denying that the decision of Stellantis NV to retool its manufacturing operations in Windsor and Brampton to produce EV’s and hybrids signalled a change in the weather for Canada, a relatively high-cost producer which for decades has been losing auto investments to the southern United States and Mexico.
Stellantis, the Amsterdam-based company formerly know as Fiat-Chrysler; General Motors Co.; Toyota Motor Corp.; Ford Motor Co.; and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. have all pledged to make Canada an important node in their North American supply chains.
That’s a victory for Champagne, who was tasked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with supporting the “economic growth and recovery of Canada’s traditionally strong industries,” including automotive, “to increase productivity and innovation, and to strengthen the manufacturing base of Canada.”