Canada's Auto Industry Ekes Out Small Profits in 2008



    OTTAWA, June 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Despite today's announcement by General
Motors about layoffs next year, and an industry-wide drop in production this
year, continued efforts to reduce costs will allow Canada's car manufacturers
to post a small profit of $155 million in 2008, according to the Conference
Board's Canadian Industrial Outlook: Canada's Motor Vehicle Manufacturing
Industry - Spring 2008.
    "With the Canadian dollar remaining around parity and new car sales in
the U.S. expected to fall to their lowest level since 1998, cost-cutting
initiatives and streamlined vehicle lineups are critical to the industry's
recovery," said Sabrina Browarski, Economist. "Continued savings on labour and
material costs and increased production should help boost industry profits
starting in 2009."
    Production is expected to fall by 4.6 per cent this year, as Canadian
auto manufacturers feel the pinch from weaker U.S. demand. But the opening of
Toyota's Woodstock plant and new models-from Chrysler and General Motors-will
boost production in 2009 and help offset the drop in production resulting from
the closure of GM's Oshawa truck plant.
    In 2007, significant cost savings allowed manufacturers to reduce their
losses to $430 million. Industry costs are expected to fall again this year,
before rising in 2009, due to increased production and a stronger outlook for
U.S vehicle sales.




For further information:

For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090
ext. 221; Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090 ext. 448,
corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca; www.conferenceboard.ca


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