Volkswagen Group’s plan to build a battery cell manufacturing plant in St. Thomas, Ont., announced March 13, is part of a new chapter for Canadian automotive that will likely see more automakers put down significant roots in the country, industry experts say.
This new “epoch” of auto investment could rival other past growth eras, such as the arrival of Honda and Toyota, which both built assembly plants in Ontario in the 1980s, said Brendan Sweeney, managing director of the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing.
“We’re going to look back upon this as one of, if not the most, exciting times for Canada’s automotive industry, especially because it came after a couple dark years.”
Details of Volkswagen’s planned cell plant have not been released, but Federal Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne touted the commitment as the country’s largest-ever auto investment.
“This is a completely new chapter in our auto sector,” he said.