May 28, 2022

The feds of Ontario are investing more than $1 billion to help Stellantis refurbish and upgrade its Brampton and Windsor plants.

Automaker Stellantis says it will spend $3.4 billion to retool and modernize its Brampton and Windsor plants .

In a press release issued Monday, the Ontario government said the investment would “accelerate the creation of one of the most vertically integrated electric vehicle supply chains in North America.”

Stellantis said it will revamp and upgrade two plants and turn them into “flexible, multi-energy assembly plants” that will be “ready to produce the electric vehicles of the future”.

The company said it will also build two new research and development centres, “focusing on electric vehicles and battery technology for electric vehicles”.

“Ontario is supporting all of these critical investments of up to $513 million with matching investments from the federal government,” the release said.

Stellantis said it will also build a new flexible multi-energy vehicle assembly line at its Windsor plant.

“This strategic retooling will diversify the company’s capacity by introducing battery-electric or hybrid models on the production line to meet growing consumer demand for low-emission vehicles,” the release said.

The province said it was backing the refurbishment up to $287 million.

According to the release, the company is also upgrading its Automotive Research and Development Centre in Windsor by expanding and building two “Competence Centres”.

“The Competence Centres for electric vehicle and battery testing will make Ontario a major research and development hub for the company at all stages of production, from design to development,” the release said. “In addition to research and development, the centres will provide ample opportunities for local talent, universities, colleges and start-ups to participate in the development of Ontario’s electric vehicle ecosystem.”

The provincial government said it is supporting the company’s research and development with a $94 million investment.

Stellantis will also install a “flexible assembly line” that can produce battery electric and hybrid vehicles at its assembly plant in Brampton.

According to the report, the provincial government has committed up to $132 million to help “secure the long-term future of the Brampton facility.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford called the announcement a “huge win” for workers and residents across the province.

“Ontario has what it takes to once again become the centre of the automotive industry in North America,” he said in a statement in a press release.

Ford said the provincial government is “making it happen and ensuring that the cars of the future will be made in Ontario by Ontario workers.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government is investing in the project because it will “justify itself”.

“It will benefit workers, it will benefit the community, it will benefit our economy and it will benefit the environment,” he said. “We are ensuring cleaner air by building and using more electric cars in our homes.”
Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne called the announcement an “important moment” for the Canadian automotive sector.

“It’s a vote of confidence for our automotive sector, and it’s a vote of confidence for Canada,” he told a news conference. “I think we should all be proud of ourselves as Canadians today.”

He said “thousands” of families will “see the benefits” of switching to electric vehicles.

“Today we’re seeing our vision of an e-vehicle system taking shape across the country, from mines to recycling plants,” he said.

Champagne said Canada needed to “keep the momentum going”.

“We have the wind in our sails. Let’s be ambitious – as I know the people of Windsor and the people of Ontario’s automotive sector have always been – and let’s lead the transformation of the green industry together,” he continued.

Monday’s announcement comes months after Stellantis and LG Energy Solutions announced a $5 billion investment to build Canada’s first large-scale electric vehicle battery plant.

Stellantis wants electric vehicles to account for half of North American car sales by 2030.

Canada sets higher targets: one in five cars sold will have zero emissions by 2026 and 60 per cent by 2030. By 2035, Canada intends to ban the sale of new internal combustion engines in passenger cars.

In 2021, electric cars will exceed five per cent of all cars purchased for the first time.

In a press release, Stellantis North America chief operating officer Mark Stewart said the investment “reaffirms our long-term commitment to Canada and represents an important step towards creating zero-emission vehicles that satisfy our customers’ desire for innovation. , clean, safe and affordable mobility.”

“We are grateful to both the federal and provincial governments for their shared vision of creating a sustainable future,” he said. “And to Unifor and our employees for their support in ensuring the long-term viability of our operations in Canada.