GM to expand R&D at Oshawa plant; Wynne hails decision

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General Motors of Canada has announced that it will expand its engineering and software development work in Ontario, create jobs and grow the economy.

Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Oshawa on Friday to welcome the  major investment announced by GM. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also on hand to hear the announcement.

Wynne said: “GM’s decision to develop next-generation vehicle technologies in Ontario is a vote of confidence in our province’s highly skilled workers and strength as an innovation hub. Our government welcomes this investment, which will help Ontario play a leading role in building the auto industry of the future.”

Ontario attracted this investment by being a leader in innovation and investing in people’s talent and skills. For this expansion, GM will draw upon the province’s wealth of talent in engineering and research, and its expertise in automotive, cleantech, and information and communications technologies. Through this investment, GM will expand its engineering team in Ontario to create more than 700 new positions over the next few years.

Stephen Carlisle, President and Managing Director, General Motors of Canada Company, said: “GM selected Ontario to be a key software engineering hub for the future because of its wealth of talent and focus on innovation. Ontario is a leader in STEM graduates, artificial intelligence and mobile security and has shown its commitment to taking a regulatory approach that enables innovation.”

GM announced that it will:

  • Enhance the capabilities of its renamed Canadian Technical Centre in Oshawa to play a leading role in developing the next generation of connected, autonomous and alternative-fuel vehicles
  • Create a major software development centre in Markham
  • Upgrade its cold-weather testing facility in Kapuskasing.

The government is working to build Ontario up as a hub of the knowledge economy. As part of this, Ontario has become the first province to allow on-road testing of automated vehicles, which will help foster the development and commercialization of new technologies that have the potential to help improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Since 2004, Ontario has invested more than $1.1 billion to leverage more than $12 billion in total investments in the province’s auto industry.
  • Strengthening the auto sector is part of Ontario’s five-year, $400-million Business Growth Initiative, which is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale up and modernizing business regulations.
  • Ontario is the only subnational jurisdiction in the world with five global automotive assemblers — Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota — as well as truck manufacturer Hino.
  • Vehicle assembly and auto parts production directly support more than 100,000 jobs in Ontario, with hundreds of thousands more spin-off jobs across the province.
  • Ontario assembly plants built nearly 15 per cent of North American-made vehicles over the past five years, and the auto industry contributes more than $15 billion annually to the province’s GDP. – CINEWS
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