Unifor Local 1285 President Danny Price, who represents workers in Brampton, is relieved.
“Up until now, there’s been a black cloud over Brampton,” he said. “We’ve been lobbying hard at all levels of government, and this is just amazing. We’re going in the right direction. We want to be part of the future and this positions us perfectly.”
SUPPLIERS ‘NOW HAVE A FUTURE’
Flavio Volpe, head of the Canadian Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, is “a big fan of Brampton.”
“I’ve bought four cars built at that plant — and the most expensive ones,” he said of the Challengers assembled there. “I’ve bet on that plant.”
While he had been “very concerned” about the future of Brampton, he now is optimistic about its longevity.
“I’m so happy about the Brampton announcement. If you had asked me six months ago, or even three months ago, if I thought this would happen for Brampton, I’d have said ‘no,’” he said.
Volpe said 12,000 people work at suppliers that feed parts to the plant.
“They now know they have a future,” Volpe said.
Fiorani has not firmed up his forecast for what vehicle will be going into Brampton.
"This new investment does not necessarily have a product assigned to it," he said.
He said there is potential for it to be an electric van, "like [GM's] BrightDrop is doing in Ingersoll."
"If you were to move production of the van from Mexico up there, then it would give you additional room for Ram Trucks down in that region," Fiorani said.
Prabmeet Sarkaria, Conservative member of provincial parliament for Brampton South, said in a statement that “today’s investments continue to build tomorrow’s innovations.”
Stellantis said it will modernize its Automotive Research and Development Centre in Windsor by expanding and building two "Centres of Competency."
“The Electric Vehicle and Battery Pack Testing Centres of Competency will establish Ontario as a major R&D hub for the company across all stages of production – from design to development,” Stellantis said.
The centres also will provide “major opportunities for local talent, universities, colleges, and start-ups to participate in the development of Ontario’s EV ecosystem.”
The automaker said the hubs will be central to Stellantis’ R&D operations in North America and “serve the company’s worldwide needs for technology, process and product development.”
Stewart said Windsor will become the automaker’s EV battery research hub for all of North America and the new centres will create 650 jobs, mainly software and design engineers.
“These investments re-affirm our long-term commitment to Canada and represent an important step as we move toward zero-emission vehicles that deliver on our customers’ desire for innovative, clean, safe and affordable mobility,” Stewart added in a statement.
The announcement comes a little more than one month after the automaker and LG Energy Solution jointly committed $5.2 billion to build an electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor.
David Kennedy of Automotive News Canada contributed to this report.
Editor's note: The Government of Ontario and Stellantis have updated the original expected investment figure to $3.6 billion. An earlier version of this story used a smaller dollar figure initially provided by the province.