Bolstering The Future Of Ontario's Auto Industry



    McGuinty Government Part Of Automotive Centre Of Excellence Partnership

    OSHAWA, ON, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - A new Automotive Centre of Excellence in
Oshawa will help ensure the parts and vehicles of tomorrow are researched,
designed and built in Ontario.
    The centre - a partnership between the University of Ontario Institute of
Technology (UOIT), General Motors of Canada and the Government of Ontario -
will include:

    
    -   A wind tunnel that can recreate weather and road conditions
    -   Collaborations to bring new vehicle-related products to market
    -   Opportunities for students and faculty to work alongside auto
        industry professionals.

    Ontario is providing $58 million towards the centre, which is currently
under construction and will open in late 2009.
    "By investing in know-how, we are bolstering the long-term future of our
auto industry ," said Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development and
Trade. "Ontario's investment is part of our strategy to strengthen the
province's research and development infrastructure and build the network that
is essential to making this province the best place to create the products and
jobs of the future."
    "Any investment in the skills and education of our people is an investment
in tomorrow," said John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and
Universities. "The new Centre of Excellence, along with our Reaching Higher
plan, is helping more Ontarians get more access to the skills they need so
that our economy, and our province's automotive industry, will thrive."

    Ontario's auto industry:

    -   Employs over 130,000 people
    -   Represents about 20 per cent of the province's total manufacturing
        output and
    -   Makes up 90 per cent of Canada's total auto industry, including all
        Canadian-built cars and light trucks.

    Today's announcement is part of the province's $235-million investment in
the $2.5 billion GM Beacon Project, announced in March 2005 as part of the
Ontario Automotive Investment Strategy.
    "Our vision has been to create a new advanced automotive technology
cluster centered at UOIT which also links together our best Canadian
companies, universities, students and engineers with suppliers in the Canadian
automotive supply chain. At GM we believe that building new innovation and
commercialization linkages will be critical for our industry's success in
Canada and our Canadian suppliers' ability to use innovation as a core
advantage for the future," said Arturo Elias, President, General Motors of
Canada.
    "UOIT is honoured to have the opportunity to create the GM of Canada
Automotive Centre of Excellence here on campus. This partnership is very
important strategically as it significantly builds upon the foundation we have
developed at UOIT for educating Canada's next-generation automotive engineers,
men and women who will blend technical knowledge and creative design skills to
greatly advance automotive research and design," said Dr. Ronald Bordessa,
President and Vice-Chancellor, UOIT.

    Please see the backgrounder for more information.

    Disponible en français

                            www.ontariocanada.com


    Backgrounder

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                   DRIVING ONTARIO AUTO INDUSTRY INNOVATION

    Ontario's auto industry

    -   Ontario's auto parts and assembly industry employs over 130,000
        people and represents about 20 per cent of the province's total
        manufacturing output.
    -   Over 90 per cent of Canada's total auto industry is located in
        Ontario, and all Canadian-built cars and light trucks are
        manufactured in the province.
    -   About 85 per cent of finished vehicles built in Ontario are exported
        to the United States.

    Ontario's auto investment strategy

    Global industry restructuring, combined with increasing competition for
new investment and product mandates, requires ongoing investments in research
and innovation, skills training and leading edge technologies to keep
Ontario's auto sector prosperous.

    The McGuinty government's $500-million Ontario Automotive Investment
Strategy was launched in April 2004 to support the industry's competitiveness.
The strategy provides funds for:

    -   Skills training to keep pace with new technologies and processes
    -   Innovation and research
    -   Improved infrastructure to support new manufacturing techniques
    -   Energy efficiencies and environmental technologies.

    More than $7 billion in new investments and thousands of high-value jobs
are the result of this strategy. Large-scale auto projects also offer
considerable spin off benefits for suppliers, the construction industry, and
local economic development.
    Many of the projects also include links with universities, colleges and
research institutions that are helping Ontario be an important centre for the
next generation of vehicles.

    Projects supported by Ontario's auto strategy

    -   General Motors, Beacon Project (announced March 2, 2005) - a multi-
        faceted investment that supports the company's vehicle design and
        manufacturing capabilities at plants in Oshawa, St. Catharines and
        CAMI in Ingersoll, in addition to the Automotive Centre of Excellence
        at UOIT. Provincial support of $235 million for a total investment of
        $2.5 billion.

    -   Ford, Oakville (announced October 29, 2004) - investments to make
        Oakville the company's first flexible manufacturing facility in
        Canada, plus a new research and development centre focusing on fuel
        cell technology. Provincial support of $100 million for a total
        investment of $1 billion.

    -   Chrysler, Windsor and Brampton (announced November 21, 2005) -
        investments in increased manufacturing flexibility and an
        environmentally advanced paint shop at the company's Windsor facility
        and skills training at the Brampton plant. Provincial support of
        $76.8 million for a total investment of $768 million.

    -   Toyota, Woodstock (announced June 30, 2005) - first greenfield
        vehicle assembly plant to be built in Ontario for almost 20 years.
        Provincial support of $70 million for a total investment of
        $1.1 billion.

    -   Linamar, Guelph (announced May 12, 2006) - creation of a Technology
        Centre, plus investments in research and development and skills
        training. Provincial support of $44.5 million for a total investment
        of $1.1 billion.

    -   International Truck and Engine Corporation, Chatham and Windsor
        (announced May 16, 2005) - skills training for workers at the Chatham
        truck assembly plant plus a new research and development centre in
        cooperation with the University of Windsor. Provincial support of
        $32 million for a total investment of $270 million.

    -   Honda, Alliston (announced May 17, 2006) - new engine facility plus
        investments to upgrade supporting public infrastructure. Provincial
        support of $15 million for a total investment of $154 million.

    -   Valiant Corporation, Windsor (announced September 21, 2006) - next
        generation of robotic vehicle assembly systems. Provincial support of
        $7.1 million for a total investment of $93 million.

    -   Nemak, Windsor (announced January 20, 2006) - investment in an
        innovative engine block manufacturing process. Provincial support of
        $6 million for a total investment of $100 million.

    -   AGS Automotive and Tiercon, Stoney Creek, Oshawa, Toronto, Cambridge
        and Windsor (announced August 28, 2007) - development of advanced and
        fully integrated bumper systems and expansion of product portfolio.
        Provincial support of $6 million for a total investment of
        $62 million.

    -   Denso Manufacturing Canada, Guelph (announced September 6, 2007) -
        facility expansion and skills training supporting a new line of
        engine cooling modules. Provincial support of $4.5 million for a
        total investment of $78.2 million.

    Disponible en français

                            www.ontariocanada.com
    





For further information:

For further information: Flavio Volpe, Minister Pupatello's Office,
(416) 325-6907; Neil Trotter, Communications Branch, (416) 325-6716

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