Premier Doug Ford has announced a $40 million dollar plan to boost the province’s auto industry. The money will fund a modernization program, internships and education, but GM’s plan to close its Oshawa assembly plant still looms over the entire industry. While a new report says that closure is inevitable other industry experts say it doesn’t have to be.
KMPG Canada released their ‘state of Canada’s auto sector’ report based on its 20th annual automotive survey. It suggests Ontario’s auto industry needs to be bold if it wants to stay relevant.
Peter Hatges says the new trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States is beneficial. “North American content as a result of that agreement has increased, we just gotta make sure we’re at the forefront of innovation.”
Some believe we could have done that without closing down the GM plant in Oshawa.
On Thursday, Premier Doug Ford was asked if the government’s fleet of vehicles were made in Ontario. “That’s a good, valid question. It’s something I’m sure the minister will look into. We gotta support our own.”
According to KMPG we’re at a crossroads in an evolving industry and the future of what cars will look like is complex.
“You’re going to have a combination of electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, maybe hydrogen powered electric vehicles and even the combustion engine as it gets better and better and more fuel efficient.”
That same report suggests that by 2040 only about 25% of the market will be hybrid or battery electric vehicles.
Despite concerns about climate change the auto industry says its still going to take time to develop tech savvy alternatives.