News Feed: Automotive
Automotive Investment News – provided by ShiftCentral
2014-02-12 - Ford Motor said it will build a new version of its Edge sport-utility vehicle at its Oakville, Ontario, plant to feed growing global demand for utility vehicles. The production decision comes on the heels of Ford's announcement last September that it would invest $700 million at the Oakville operation to assemble several new global models. It said the investment would secure more than 2,800 existing jobs in Oakville. Ford said the new Edge would be shipped to more than 60 countries. Global SUV demand grew 13% overall in 2013 from a year earlier, the company noted, more than doubling in markets outside North America.
Ballard Power Systems has signed an engineering services deal with the Volkswagen for the development of fuel cells to be used in demonstration cars. The head of group research at the German automaker said Ballard's expertise will help the company move ahead faster with new power transportation technologies. The four-year contract, which includes an option for a two-year extension, is worth between $60 million and $100 million.
The federal and Ontario governments are providing as much as $34 million to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada to produce the first hybrid car built in Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced at the Toyota plant in Cambridge, Ont., that the federal money would come from the Automotive Innovation Fund. Outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty said Ontario's portion will come from its Strategic Jobs and Investment Fund. Toyota will put $125 million toward the new assembly line to increase production of Lexus luxury cars. The project will lead to the first Lexus hybrid produced outside of Japan.
Michelin North America has announced a $73 million project investment at its Waterville, N.S., truck tire plant. Michelin will invest $64.1 million to expand its Waterville facility as part of the $73-million project. The province will invest up to $8.9 million in jobs created by the project, an investment that will benefit the province long after it is fully recovered in about eight to nine years, says the government. Michelin operates three plants in the province and employs more than 3,500 Nova Scotians.
2012-12-19 -Toyoda Gosei, a Japanese manufacturer of automobile parts, is planning to invest $11 million to set up a new plant to produce interior and exterior components in Stratford, Ont. The plant will be a branch plant of its subsidiary, TG Minto, which provides interior and exterior components to Toyota. With plans to employ 70 employees, the plant will produce instrument panel parts, pillar garnishes, column hole covers.
2012-10-28 - Prof. Lorne Whitehead, from the University of B.C.’s physics department, says his team has developed a way to wirelessly recharge vehicles using a frequency 100 times lower than what's used now. "Wireless charging has been a much sought-after technical solution for everything from cell phones to electric cars," Whitehead said. The UBC researchers came up with so-called "remote magnetic gears," a system that has been successfully tested. Four wireless charging stations have been installed at UBC's building operations parking lot. Tests show the system is more than 90% efficient compared to a cable charge. Originally, the magnetically-driven charging system was aimed at medical devices such as an implanted pacemaker.
2012-07-23 - Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada will spend $100-million to expand production of the Lexus RX350 luxury crossover utility vehicle in Cambridge, Ont. The move will create 400 jobs as the Cambridge plant. In addition, the Ontario plant will produce a hybrid version of the vehicle for the first time. Lexus capacity will increase by 30,00 vehicles to 104,000 annually, including 15,000 hybrid versions.
2012-06-21 - The Mercedes-Benz fuel cell production and technology development facility, which has created 50 jobs, saw its grand opening in B.C. Mercedes-Benz has converted a section of a Ballard Power facility, investing $53 million in the plant, according to press release. After a testing and commissioning phase, production of compact next-generation fuel-cell stacks will start in 2013, with the stacks being shipped to Germany for use in sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class or E-Class.
2012-03-27 - Toyota says it is increasing RAV4 production at its Woodstock, Ont. assembly plant. The company now expects to increase its annual capacity to 200,000 vehicles in the facility by early 2013, an increase from a target of 150,000 in 2012. The company says the $80 million investment will result in about 400 new jobs. Currently, the plant has about 2,000 workers.
2012-03-12 - An Eastern Ontario steel mill is planning an $80-million expansion, federal officials said. Ivaco Rolling will add as many as 50 jobs to its current workforce of about 425 as it adds capacity to produce steel billets and wire rod. Ivaco was established as a rolling mill in the early 1970s and became a full steel mill in 1975, recycling steel scrap from Ottawa, Montreal and other sites. It was acquired in 2004 by Heico Holdings, a U.S.-based investment firm, and has become a major supplier of wire rod used in mining and construction and the automotive and oil and gas industries.
2011-12-12 - Toyota Tsusho Corp. (TTC), the trading unit of Asia’s largest auto maker, has agreed to buy all of Montreal-based Matamec Explorations’s output from its Kipawa mine deposit in the Témiscamingue region of Quebec. The non-binding deal between TTC and Matamec is conditional on conclusive results from a feasibility study of the economics of the Kipawa project. TTC is paying $17.5 million for its position, which will give it a supply of metals needed for its hybrid and electric vehicles.
2011-11-17 - Honda announced it will begin manufacturing the 2012 CR-V compact sports utility vehicles in Alliston, Ont., in early 2012. The Japanese automaker said it had hired 400 workers to accommodate the new vehicle line, and would produce all CR-Vs sold in Canada there. The news of increased production in Alliston will be welcomed after a difficult year in which Honda’s North American plants have been hampered by parts supply issues first in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and most recently by the flooding in Thailand. Honda has reduced production by up 50% at its North American plants throughout November, including in Alliston, where Honda currently employs 4,200 workers.
2011-08-24 - Dana has been selected to receive a $2 million technology grant from the province of Ontario for the developing and manufacturing of lithium-ion battery cooling technologies that will be used in electric cars. The grant will support the company’s work at its Oakville and Cambridge locations and allow for the company to work together with several universities in Ontario to develop the battery cooling systems. Based on the anticipated growth from the grant, Dana is expected to invest up to $37 million into its Oakville and Cambridge locations over the next five years, which could create more jobs in each of the facilities.
2011-07-17 - Ford Motor Co of Canada has discussed future investments in a vehicle assembly plant near Toronto with the governments of Canada and Ontario but has not officially requested financial support, said the company's CEO. Ontario's minister of economic development and trade, Sandra Pupatello, confirmed that a proposed retooling of the Oakville plant, west of Toronto, had come up in ongoing talks. She would not comment on the specific project but said generally the province is prepared to offer financial support to keep the automotive sector competitive. The Oakville plant currently produces crossover utility vehicles, including the Ford Edge, but the company has talked for the past two years about the possibility of broadening its output to incorporate a so-called global vehicle platform.
2011-07-14 - Industry leaders, researchers and students now have the General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) at the University of Ontario’s Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ontario, to create and test automotive innovations. The Minister of Economic Development and Trade, said that "Ontario's auto sector has turned an important corner with all five of the province's vehicle manufacturers recently announcing production, employment and investments increases.”
2011-07-04 - Toyota's two Ontario plants are getting a $545 million expansion and overhaul, backed by almost $71 million from each of the governments of Canada and Ontario. The Cambridge and Woodstock plants employ about 6,500 people. The province says Ontario's investment will help "secure" those jobs. The occasion marked the first time the federal government has invested in the automotive industry since spending more than $12 billion to bail out Chrysler and GM during the recession in 2008 and 2009.
2011-06-16 - The University of Ontario Institute of Technology announced the opening of the General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE), a facility for climatic, durability and lifecycle testing. The $100 million ACE facility also incorporates one of the largest and most sophisticated climatic wind tunnels in the world. It was developed in partnership with UOIT, General Motors of Canada Ltd. (GMCL), the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE), the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.
2011-06-13 - British auto maker, Rolls-Royce, is looking to increase its presence in Canada with a third franchise in the country, located in Montreal, following the ones operating in Vancouver and Toronto. "North America is Rolls-Royce's largest market. With the addition of our new Montreal franchise, partnering our Toronto and Vancouver dealerships, we can now serve our customers wherever they may be in Canada," said Torsten Muller-Otvos, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
2011-06-06 - David Mondragon, CEO of Ford Motor Co. of Canada, believes Quebec and Canada will play a significant role for the company in coming years. Despite the downturn and high gas prices, there are currently 85 independent dealerships across Quebec, which are investing on average more than $1 million each on sales and maintenance operations. Mondragon said the automaker will continue to invest heavily in Canada with almost all its parts being sourced in Ontario and the U.S. because of proximity to Oakville.
2011-04-20 - Windsor, Ontario, is being called one of the "Top 10 American cities of the future" according to a list compiled by fDi Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times of London. The cities were ranked on the potential for foreign investment, economic development and business expansion. Windsor took the second rank and Mississauga took the 6th position. Windsor's second-place ranking in the "economic potential" category coincides with the Conference Board of Canada's expectation that the Windsor-Essex economy will outperform all other Canadian cities this year.
2011-04-05 - GM is mulling an aggressive push into Canada's major urban centres to win customers in cities like Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. For GM, this strategy is a key priority for 2011, as it looks to rebuild its market share in the aftermath of its restructuring. Part of the company's strategy is to introduce several new city-friendly vehicles and offer leasing options for those vehicles.
2011-03-27 - BatHium Canada, which specializes in the development and marketing of lithium-metal-polymer batteries, announced an expansion project for its Boucherville, Quebec site. The company has invested $176 million and will create 245 new jobs over the next five years in addition to the current 67 jobs. BatHium Canada is a subsidiary of France's Bolloré Group. The company said the lithium-metal-polymer battery expansion is to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.
2011-03-17 - Mercedes-Benz announced plans to expand its Canadian operations as part of a larger push in to the next generation of clean, zero-emission electric cars. Mercedes-Benz Canada will be setting up its own production of "fuel cell stacks" in a facility slated for Burnaby, B.C. A fuel cell stack is a key component in fuel-cell powered electric cars.
2011-02-27 - Rising global vehicle sales and profitability have encouraged automakers to continue to increase vehicle production, providing the global economy with some positive offset to the dampening impact of the recent surge in energy prices, according to Scotia Economics' Global Auto Report. "During the latest financial reporting season, virtually every automaker increased their full-year 2011 global sales forecast and boosted their production schedule for the opening months of 2011," said Carlos Gomes, Senior Economist, Scotia Economics. According to the report, China will lead the increase in vehicle output and the NAFTA region (Canada, the U.S. and Mexico) is also expected to post a solid increase in vehicle assemblies for 2011. Canada is scheduled to post the largest increase in vehicle output across North America in early 2011, as production ramps up following the late-2010 retooling at a major car plant in Brampton, Ontario.
2011-02-10 - General Motors confirmed it will build the next version of its Chevrolet Camaro in Oshawa, Ontario. The company's 2012 Camaro ZL1 will probably mean incremental job increases at the Oshawa complex because the extra production won't generate huge volumes, according to industry insiders. The plant, which employs about 4,000 workers, is the only operation in the world that assembles the Camaro. It started making a convertible version recently.
2011-01-27 - Canadian car manufacturers, such as Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, are riding a wave of positive news. Canadian automobile demand has risen since 2009 and so too has production output. Consumer demand for new vehicles rose 6.6% in Canada in 2010, while Canadian vehicle production increased by 41.2% compared to 2009. Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association members have invested over $8 billion in Canada over the past decade. The investments have gone into more efficient flexible manufacturing processes, ensuring new product mandates, while improving the environmental performance of the facilities and vehicles and engines being produced.
2010-12-21 - The Government of Canada announced a project to develop a new hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), supported by the Automotive Partnership Canada program, which will boost automotive R&D and will strengthen Canada's economy over the long term. The $6.7 million grant will help a much bigger project worth $12.5 million. Funding for this project will help to position Quebec as a hub of expertise in HEV technology and will increase the number of professionals in this specialized area.
2010-11-29 - The Globe and Mail reports that GM Canada has added 700 employees to support a second shift on its flex line at the Oshawa, Ont., assembly plant. It is reported that the additional workers are needed in preparation for the 2011 launch of two new models.
2010-10-24 - Following its initial launch with 45 dealers in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Scion will expand in 2011 with 40 Phase II dealers in 30 more markets across Canada next spring. Scion will continue to explore market opportunities across Canada and expects to identify candidates for expansion in even more markets.
2010-10-18 - General Motors of Canada is adding 600 employees at its Oshawa, Ont., assembly plant to meet demand for the Chevrolet Equinox. The workers will staff a third shift, with work beginning immediately. The third shift marks the final stage of the previously announced suite of capacity increases for the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.
2010-10-03 - It is reported that U.S.-based Scion "rolled into Canada, with 45 dealers in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, bringing vehicles and a new automotive experience to young, style-conscious Canadian drivers." Scion launched in Canada's three culture capitals with plans to expand across the country.
2010-09-21 - Michigan-based Inteva Products has opened its first Canadian operation in Whitby, Ont. The facility will initially produce cockpit and headliner assemblies for the Chevrolet Camaro and Buick Regal, which are built nearby at General Motors’ assembly plant in Oshawa. The site will employ 108 workers when it reaches full capacity early next year. Formal production begins on September 27, 2010.
2010-08-12 - Chrysler Canada is spending $27.2 million on new technology for its auto parts casting plant in Toronto, preserving the factory’s 280 jobs. The plant in Etobicoke, which currently produces aluminum die castings and pistons, is being prepared to make vehicle suspension parts called crossmembers starting in the third quarter of 2011, Chrysler said.
2010-07-11 - German chemical company Sud-Chemie announced that it will build the world's largest plant for the production of lithium iron phosphate in Candiac in Montérégie. Sud-Chemie said it would invest about $78 million in the venture, which involves construction of a new production facility in Candiac, the site of its Canadian subsidiary Phostech Lithium Inc.
2010-07-08 - Toyota announced it was opening six new product quality field offices in North America, including two in Canada, after being battered over quality control issues, lawsuits and recalls. The new Canadian offices in Toronto and Calgary will focus on extreme seasonal temperature changes, high road salt usage and unique vehicle operating conditions.
2010-06-28 - Ontario's tax plan includes tax cuts for families, businesses and combines two existing sales taxes into one, removing hidden taxes that businesses and consumers pay on everyday goods. The plan will help strengthen the automotive industry by reducing the Corporate Income Tax rate for manufacturers to 10% from 12% and reducing the Corporate Minimum Tax rate to 2.7% from 4%.
2010-06-27 - According to this, Brose Automotive in London has become the German automaker's leading plant in North America. The company announced a $20-million expansion that has seen it add 150 jobs and make it a centre for advanced manufacturing. The company announced it will make 2.5 million gearboxes annually.
2010-05-31 - GM's latest announcement is a $245-million plan to build six-speed transmissions to supply assembly plants in Oshawa, Ont., and Ingersoll, Ont., both of which have already boosted or plan to increase vehicle production amid a market recovery and heavy demand for the company’s Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossover utility vehicles. The car maker also said it will begin producing a new, fuel-efficient transmission at a plant in St. Catharines, Ontario, in 2012.
2010-04-26 - General Motors will invest more than $235 million at its engine plant in St. Catharines, Ontario, to make the next generation of V8 engines and install a flexible assembly line. The St. Catharines plant has already been anointed for an investment to make a fuel-efficient transmission, but getting the nod to continue assembling V8 engines is expected to add some jobs at the plant, which already employs 1,200 people. In addition, GM has announced plans to invest at its car assembly plants in Oshawa, Ont., and a crossover utility vehicle in Ingersoll, Ont.
Honda Canada says it will start up a second shift and add 400 jobs at an assembly plant in central Ontario early in 2011. The plant in Alliston produces the Honda Civic sedan, Acura MDX sport utility vehicle and Acura ZDX crossover. The company said it was pleased to make the announcement as the Canadian economy continues to show signs of recovery.
GM Canada is recalling 600 workers as auto maker adds a third shift at its Oshawa assembly plant and ramps up its factory in Ingersoll, Ontario. The company says the changes are in response to growing customer demand for the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. A third shift in Oshawa will be added in October to do the work. Employees at CAMI will be recalled and 70 new jobs are expected to be added by August.
Ontario is supporting the next phase of the transformation of the Ford Essex engine plant, which is expected to create and retain up to 757 new jobs over five years. The initiative, called Project Renaissance, combines industry-leading flexible manufacturing with the establishment of a North American Centre for Diesel and Advanced Powertrain Technology, Research and Innovation. The provincial support provides Ford with an opportunity to increase its investment in the project, up to $736.4 million. The plant will produce a fuel-efficient 5.0L V8 engine that will be used in the Ford Mustang. Ford’s new R&D centre will work closely with University of Windsor’s forthcoming Centre for Engineering Innovation, in addition to other universities and private sector partners.
General Motors plans to add a second shift at its Oshawa, Ontario, assembly plant before the end of 2010. The additional shift is expected to return 700 workers back to the plant. The company wants to ramp up production of its Buick Regal model in early 2011.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada produced a record 319,548 vehicles in 2009 and is expected to surpass that in 2010 with production of more than 400,000 cars and crossover utility vehicles. Ontario's two plants are producing the RAV4 crossover utility vehicles and the RX350 for Toyota's Lexus luxury division, which are among the company's vehicles that have the most demand in North America. The Cambridge plant is working overtime to produce Corolla and Matrix models. The company will add a second shift of workers at the Woodstock plant in March to double output of the RAV4 to 150,000 vehicles a year.
New engines for Ford's 2011 Mustang GT vehicles will be built in Windsor, Ontario. Production is scheduled to begin February 1 with about 300 employees working a single shift. If that engine takes off and becomes a good seller a second or third shift could be added.
Toyota will hire more than 800 workers and add a second shift of production at its plant in Woodstock, Ontario. The plant will double production of RAV4 crossover utility vehicles to 150,000 a year beginning in March amid a rebound in demand for the vehicles in the U.S. market, which is the destination for about 80% of the factory's output.
Ontario's specialist auto sector machine, tool, die and mould companies are showcasing their skills in Mexico as part of a delegation led by the province. The delegates' program includes one-on-one meetings with Mexico-based auto assemblers and parts companies. Ontario has built more cars than any other sub-national jurisdiction in North America for five years in a row. The province has a network of over 300 auto parts manufacturers, and 300 tooling companies supplying 14 assembly plants.
General Motors will invest nearly $100 million to increase production capacity at its assembly plants in in Ingersoll, Ontario, a move that signals the auto maker's growing confidence in the auto recovery and robust consumer demand for the two vehicles made at the plant. The upgrade to Cami Automotive will allow the company to produce about 250,000 vehicles a year. The investment is designed to increase output of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossover utility vehicles, which have experienced strong consumer demand.
Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, introduced changes to the Government of Canada’s Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF) in order to increase investment in automotive R&D. The total investment threshold required to qualify for AIF funding has been lowered from the initial $300 million over five years to $75 million over the same time frame. The reduction to a $75-million threshold over five years is expected to attract additional strategic projects, which in turn will increase automotive R&D capacity in Canada and secure knowledge-based jobs.
France-based Bollore Group, looking to join the race to build electric batteries for vehicles, will invest $120 million in a battery-producing factory east of Montreal. The batteries will be built using lithium-metal-polymer technology. The company plans to hire 200 new workers - on top of the 70 employees already working at the facility - to build batteries that will be used in electric cars and buses.
Canadian factory sales advanced the fastest since 1998 in July as automobile production restarted following the return of Chrysler and General Motors. Factory sales increased 5.5% from a month earlier to $41.4 billion, Statistics Canada said, as automotive output jumped 48% to $3.3 billion.
Hyundai Kia Automotive Group is showing growth in the Canadian market. Data by industry publication Ward's Auto shows Hyundai's August sales in Canada jumped by 38.4% compared to a year earlier. Kia also saw its Canadian sales increase by 20.6% over the same period.
Canada's Magna International has won an auction for General Motors' Opel unit by gaining the approval of governments and the trust overseeing the unit. Under the terms of the deal, Magna along with Sberbank will get a 55% stake in Opel.
Toyota will move production of a subcompact to Ontario when its joint venture with GM in California ends next March. The production of the Corolla will be moved to Toyota's Cambridge facility. The Cambridge plant already assembles Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks.
The province of Ontario moved to reduce the sticker shock of plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles by offering rebates of between $4,000 and $10,000, starting July 1, 2010. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said the aim was to have one out of every 20 vehicles in Canada's most populous province to be electrically powered by 2020. Buyers of electric cars will also get special green license plates that will allow them to use carpool lanes, even if there is only one person in the vehicle, as well as access to public charging facilities and parking at Ontario government and GO Transit commuter lots. The government also committed to adding 500 electric vehicles to its public service fleet.
Increasing fuel efficiency, creating greener vehicle parts, preventing whiplash injuries and protecting newborns and premature infants through better car seats are just some of the ways Canadian automotive researchers are contributing to the car of tomorrow. These projects are part of a $10 million investment in Canadian automotive R&D by the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence and its industry and public-sector partners. AUTO21 is Canada’s national automotive research network, with more than 220 researchers at 45 universities across the country helping to advance vehicle technology. The two-year $10 million investment will provide funding for 20 new projects that will provide technology and knowledge for Canada’s automotive sector. AUTO21 is providing approximately $4 million while 59 industry partners are contributing about $6 million.
The new Toyota assembly plant in Woodstock, Ontario, has officially opened. The manufacturing facility was built at a cost of $1.1billion in the southwestern Ontario city. The Toyota plant employs about 1,200 workers.
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