Competition for scarce automotive investments can be fierce, but if the Canadian government cannot ensure everyone is playing by the same rules, the future for the domestic auto industry looks bleak.
When the Windsor Assembly Plant (WAP) announced its second shift cut in three years Oct. 16, Peter Frise, a professor at the University of Windsor and director of its Centre for Automotive Research and Education, chalked it up to the marketplace making choices it has “always made.”
Microchips are in short supply; those available are being put into vehicles with higher profit margins than the minivans built in Windsor. It is a hard reality but one that does not stray far from the basics of supply and demand.
“We are entitled to nothing other than to compete,” Frise said. “That goes for Windsor, it goes for Oshawa, and it goes for [assembly plants in] Oakville, Alliston, Cambridge, Woodstock. It goes for Canada. It goes for every country.”