2023 Automotive News Canada All-Stars

2023 All Star Banner

Automotive News Canada has chosen a mix of industry professionals connected with the most significant stories of 2023 and others who have stood out for their high levels of professional achievement.

The 2023 All-Stars have often blazed new trails, finding opportunity in the challenges facing an industry attempting to move toward electrified vehicles while still having one foot in the door of internal combustion. Or in the case of supplier Linamar, based in Guelph, Ont., having the vision — and commitment — to build a new plant for three giga presses deemed “critical” for the future of EVs. Making this news particularly fascinating is that Linamar is not an automaker.

“As the first supplier to invest in this equipment in North America, Linamar will naturally take a market leadership position in this technology,” said CEO Linda Hasenfratz, a 2023 All-Star.

Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), makes the list because of one car: Project Arrow. Volpe corralled APMA members to design and build a functioning EV — during the COVID-19 pandemic — with a target of showing the completed project at CES in Las Vegas in January 2023. The goal? To show the world the abilities of Canadian suppliers. Some way, somehow, Project Arrow made the deadline and it was a bull’s-eye. This is really just the beginning of the story as Volpe intends to keep Arrow in the news.

And then there’s the new Porsche Experience Centre that will open in 2024, in large part because of Jennifer Cooper’s yearslong commitment to the project. The 20-acre (eight-hectare) centre near Toronto is the

first of its kind in Canada and is intended to allow customers and fans to, as the name implies, experience Porsche vehicles. Cooper, a 15-year employee with motorsports roots within the company, has overseen construction and she will manage the facility.

Once Porsche Experience Centre opens, “that’s when the fun begins, because [I’ll] be responsible for all the functions,” she said.

It’s a truly amazing story.

While this is just a sampling from a small group over the next few pages, the reality is there are countless All-Stars from coast to coast. Although Automotive News Canada cannot recognize them all, we are pleased to honour a handful who led the way for 2023.