Stellantis is already the largest employer in the Windsor area, and the battery investment deepens the company’s ties to the city.
The company’s Windsor Assembly Plant already produces a hybrid version of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, and promised further electrified vehicles for the plant that could make use of the battery cells in contract negotiations with Unifor, which represents hourly workers at the plant, in 2020.
The battery plant will employ hourly workers represented by Unifor, according to David Cassidy, president of Local 444. Negotiations to hammer out a contract are underway, said Cassidy.
NEW VEHICLE FOR WINDSOR?
Stellantis has not shared what vehicle program it has planned for Windsor, but Sam Fiorani, vice-president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions (AFS) told Automotive News Canada a new model with non-hybrid, hybrid and full an EV variant is slated to be built in Windsor starting in the third quarter of 2024.
"That’ll add some nice volume to that besides the minivans."
Construction on the new battery plant is expected to start later this year as the Stellantis and LG Energy JV gear up to start cell production in the first quarter of 2024. The facility is scheduled to ramp up output through 2025. Once fully operational, the plant is expected to have capacity to meet a “significant portion” of Stellantis’ vehicle production requirements across North America.
Details on how much the federal, provincial and municipal governments will spend on the project are not yet available. Rebecca Bozzato, a spokeswoman for Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation Vic Fedeli, cited protecting the province's competitiveness and the finalization of the funding agreement for the lack of disclosure.
"We need to ensure our negotiating position is protected for future investments we compete for," she wrote in an email.
However, in a since-deleted tweet posted late Wednesday, Toronto—Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin said the federal government is contributing $500 million to the project.