Flavio Volpe, head of the Canadian Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), has been named to the Order of Canada for his work in spearheading Project Arrow.
The award “honours people who make extraordinary contributions to the nation.” Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest civilian honours.
Individually, Volpe was specifically honoured "for advancing Canada’s automotive and technology industries on an international scale as a leading policy expert in national trade and industry competition."
Volpe was the driving force behind the all-electric, all-Canadian crossover that became known as the Canadian auto industry’s “business card.”
Project Arrow, a crossover built by 60 Canada-based suppliers and unveiled at CES in Las Vegas in January 2023, is a showcase of this country’s automotive know-how.
It was an idea that came to Volpe when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau two years ago called for a zero-emissions future by 2050.
Volpe officially was named to the Order of Canada on Dec. 28.
“It floored me, like I was shot through a window by a sniper. I’m surprised. I know people say that, but to be honest, I had no idea,” Volpe said in an interview with Automotive News Canada.
Recipients have to be nominated for the award, and Volpe has no idea who put his name forward.
“The best thing about doing the Arrow project was that it was truly Team Canada. It was intended to tell the world that ‘we can be your partner’ and do it in a way that it's never been done before,” he said.
Volpe said Project Arrow was a $20-million venture that, so far, has landed its suppliers $500 million worth of new business.
“I think any time any one of us gets recognized in the sector, it's an affirmation that the sector is meaningful, and its successes are noble,” Volpe said. “I'm grateful that the APMA trusted me to do this work. But this work is fun and easy because we're only scratching the surface of the incredible stuff tens of thousands of people do every day. I just get to tell their stories.”
Volpe joins the likes of Leddartech President Frantz Saintellamy, Canadian auto dealers Vaughn Wyant and Ralph Chiodo, Agnes Di Leonardi of Sym-Tech Dealer and former president and chair of Toyota Canada Ray Tanguay, named as Order of Canada honourees since 2017.
Since its creation in 1967—Canada’s centennial year—more than 7,600 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.
“The contributions of these trailblazers are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country,” the Order’s website reads. “Their grit and passion inspire us, teach us and show us the way forward. They exemplify the Order’s motto: They desire a better country.”