It has been just over a year since my appointment as Automotive Advisor to the federal and provincial ministers responsible for economic development in Ontario and Canada. In this new role, I’ve witnessed firsthand the far-reaching changes taking place across the automotive industry.
Whether we are talking about new manufacturing techniques being implemented on the factory floor, cutting-edge technologies being developed in the laboratory or green innovation, we are effectively talking about one thing: change.
Thankfully, Canada is well placed to play a leading role in supporting companies as they make the necessary investments to propel themselves forward in the ever changing automotive industry.
The Great Lakes region is home to the largest auto cluster in the world, with more than eight million vehicles produced in 2015 and close to five million in Ontario and Michigan combined. The majority of automotive purchasing and design activities reside here.
We have one of the largest talent pools for highly skilled and motivated workforces in the world; Canada is unique in that it offers both high quality production and very competitive costs.
You may not know this, but Ontario has the largest IT region in North America outside of Silicon Valley, where collaboration with universities and research and development facilities quickly drives innovation from the lab to the assembly line. Our network of technology incubators and start-up accelerators ensures a steady stream of innovative concepts, ideas and products that strengthen the entire ecosystem.
And when it comes to talent, we have an abundance of gifted engineers with the expertise to herald the era of connected, autonomous and electric vehicles.
No wonder high tech companies like Apple, Google, Cisco, Oracle and SAP are interested in Ontario as they seek to grow their businesses in the digital age.
Naturally, the governments of Canada and Ontario are committed to working with automotive companies to help them take advantage of Canada’s strengths: innovation lives here, problems get solved here and awards are won here.
Canada has generous incentives and the overall business costs make us extremely competitive.