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Ford visits Guelph to announce next phase in Ontario's transition to electric vehicle manufacturing

Ontario Premier Doug Ford uses Linamar as a backdrop to announce the second phase of his 'Driving Prosperity ― The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector'
2021-11-17 Ford DC
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, tour the Frank Hasenfratz Centre For Excellence In Manufacturing on Wednesday.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced on Wednesday the next steps of his ambitious plan in the province’s commitment to the future of Ontario’s auto sector, a move he said will help the Ontario auto sector pivot toward the future. 

Ford, who made his second appearance in Guelph in less than a week, was joined by Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, to announce the entrance into the second phase on the future of Ontario’s automotive sector while inside the Frank Hasenfratz Centre For Excellence In Manufacturing.

Dubbed “Driving Prosperity ― The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector,” phase two is anchored by the objective to maintain and grow Ontario’s auto sector by building at least 400,000 electric and hybrid vehicles by 2030.

“Right now the auto industry is changing as consumers demand a different kind of vehicle technology, and the industry is shifting rapidly in preparing to build the cars of the future,” said Ford. “As a government, we must ensure our manufacturing sector keeps pace.”

Despite the announcement held within the Linamar Corporation, there was no mention of any new partnership with the province nor was any talk of Linamar expanding production to meet the requirements in phase two addressed.

“We’re putting billions and billions of dollars into the electric vehicle market, into companies, partnering with the federal government,” said Ford.

The Frank Hasenfratz Centre For Excellence In Manufacturing, which is a centre owned by the Linamar Corporation, which employs upwards of 11,000 people in Canada.

“I’m sure as you all know, Linamar has long been a key player in automotive supply in Canada,” said Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar. “We have 24 plants in Canada, 21 which are supplying the automotive sector. Mainly for passenger cars, the majority of which, by the way, ship south of the border.”

Hasenfratz said that as of today a quarter of their business is slated for production involving electric vehicles.

Ontario has committed $56.4 million over the next four years through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network to support innovation and transformation in our auto tech system.

“The auto industry is being reinvented around electric vehicles, the technologies of the future,” said Fedeli, “and Ontario has exactly what it takes, up and down every supply chain, to transform our auto sector and ensure that everyone in Ontario benefits from its long-term growth and success. The next phase of driving prosperity will help the sector pivot to manufacturing the electric vehicles of the future and the electric batteries those vehicles need.”