GM Canada Research Centres
After 29 years in demanding roles in the General Motors engineering corps, Sara LeBlanc faces her biggest challenge yet: To lead GM Canada’s transformation from automaker to tech company.
“It’s an exciting time to be working in the automobile industry,” said the director of GM’s Ontario r&d centres.
While GM is slated to end vehicle assembly at its Oshawa plant at the end of the year — a move that will displace about 2,300 of 2,600 hourly workers — the company is recruiting high-tech talent.
So far, it has hired about 700 of a planned 1,000 specialists, primarily for its new Markham Technical Centre that develops infotainment and autonomous-driving systems.
LeBlanc, 48, also oversees the Cold Weather Proving Ground in Kapuskasing, Ont., and a technical centre in Oshawa with a new autonomous-vehicle test track.
These facilities, said LeBlanc, are designed to create an advanced automotive engineering ecosystem that will help ensure the future of Canada’s auto industry.