By: Luke Jones, Published on March 30, 2017 08:22 PM, Last Update on March 31, 2017 05:25 AM
Justin Trudeau has announced a collaboration between the Ford Motor Company, the federal government, and the Ontario government. The two branches will invest in Ford’s research and engineering centred on connectivity research and development.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government will invest $102.4 million to Ford Canada, the country’s oldest automaker and the company behind the best-selling vehicle in Canada. The liberal government in Ontario, under Premier Kathleen Wynne will provide a further $102.4 million to the company.
The funds “will attract an additional $1 billion in research and development spending from Ford of Canada, and lead to the creation and maintenance of almost 800 good, middle class jobs for Canadian workers.”
With the investment, Ford Canada will set up a new Research and Engineering Centre to be located in Ottawa. Additionally, the research centre will also have locations in Waterloo and Oakville. Each centre will focus on research into connectivity and developing in-vehicle modems, systems, gateway modules, and driver-assists features for autonomous vehicles.
“Today’s announcement will help Ford of Canada transform its Windsor operations into a world-class engine facility,” the release said.
The investment will also empower current Ford facilities to increase their R&D output, including the Powertrain Engineering Research and Development Centre in Windsor, Ont.
“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,” Trudeau said in the statement.
Mark Buzzell, president and CEO of Ford Canada, added that the investment “demonstrates how Ford is transforming to be both an auto and mobility company. With strategic partnerships, Canada can compete and win in the global auto industry.”
Canada’s automobile industry is hugely important to its economy and is the second largest manufacturing sector, contributing $17.5 billion to the annual economy. The industry more than 2.3 million new vehicles a year.