Industry Canada

Industry Canada

February 26, 2015 10:08 ET

Harper Government Celebrates Completion of Ford Oakville Assembly Plant Transformation

Government investment helps Ford deliver one of its most sophisticated auto manufacturing plants in the world and supports about 4,500 jobs in southern Ontario

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 26, 2015) - Industry Canada

The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport and Member of Parliament for Halton, and Terence Young, Member of Parliament for Oakville, were at Ford Motor Company of Canada today for its launch of production of the all-new 2015 Ford Edge. The crossover vehicle will be manufactured on a new flexible platform at the company's Oakville facility, which employs about 4,500 people, and exported globally.

The Harper Government provided a $71.6-million repayable contribution under the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF) in 2013 to support the transformation of Ford's Oakville assembly plant into a state-of-the-art global manufacturing facility. The new flexible platform will enable Ford to innovate, compete and quickly adjust to changing market conditions.

The Harper Government's contribution helped leverage a $716-million investment from the company in southern Ontario, securing Ford's global manufacturing footprint in Canada. Ford's investment is part of a planned investment of up to $1.1 billion over 10 years in its Oakville Assembly Complex.

Quick facts

  • Funding for the project to modernize Ford's Oakville facility was provided through the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF). To date, AIF investments have leveraged up to $2.77 billion for R&D and innovation in Canada.
  • The government's contribution has helped provide Ford with the flexibility to produce 11 of its high-volume mid-sized vehicles on one platform in Oakville. The company's investment represented a long-term commitment to building cars, creating jobs and advancing innovation in Canada and to fostering Canadian excellence in auto manufacturing.
  • Canada's automotive industry is a key sector of the economy. It contributes 10 percent of the country's manufacturing GDP and 13 percent of total merchandise exports. The industry employs more than 117,000 Canadians directly and another 377,000 indirectly.
  • Canada's manufacturing sales have bounced back and are up more than 25 percent since the recession.
  • According to the latest available Statistics Canada data, motor vehicles and parts exports increased by 8.8 percent in 2014 to $65.2 billion, up from $59.9 billion in 2013.
  • Overall, Canadian exports were up 10.0 percent in 2014, and Canada posted its largest trade surplus in six years at $13.3 billion.
  • This trade surplus was driven by surging auto exports in July 2014, which saw a 9.7-percent increase in motor vehicle and parts exports and a 10.2-percent increase in passenger car exports. This was the biggest one-month advance in eight months.
  • Economic Action Plan 2014 provided an additional $500 million to the Automotive Innovation Fund to support significant new strategic R&D projects and long-term investments in the Canadian automotive sector.
  • A key part of supporting manufacturers is ensuring that they have global markets for the goods they produce. The government has concluded seven different free trade pacts with 38 countries. It has also concluded or implemented foreign investment promotion and protection agreements with 22 countries and continues to deepen trade ties with the largest, most dynamic markets in the world.
  • Canada's two most recent trade agreements, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, promise to add at least $14 billion annually in new economic activity, equivalent to creating more than 90,000 new jobs.
  • Since 2006, Canada has gone from having free trade agreements with only 5 countries to now having free trade agreements in force, or being finalized, with 43 countries around the world.


"Our government has kept taxes low and promoted trade abroad and skills training at home-all of which are necessary conditions for creating jobs and economic growth. As today's event demonstrates, Canada's automotive industry continues to attract investment. As a result, Canada remains a leading nation for automotive manufacturing."

- Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport

"Our government is committed to strengthening our manufacturing sector and creating jobs for Canadian families. Today's new Ford Edge production launch proves that our highly skilled workforce, low taxes and open markets make Canada one of the best places in the world to build cars."

- James Moore, Minister of Industry

"Thanks to the support of the Harper Government, Ford will have a presence in Oakville for a long time to come. Our government is serious about creating jobs and opportunities for auto manufacturing in Canada."

- Terence Young, Member of Parliament for Oakville

"We're proud to show the world advanced manufacturing right here in Canada and look forward to serving new global customers. The Oakville assembly team has worked relentlessly to deliver a quality product to the highest standard-from bringing in the best of Ford's manufacturing technologies to training new employees across the facility."

- Dianne Craig, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd.

Related products

2013 announcement of Automotive Innovation Fund contribution to Ford's Project Northern Star

Associated links

Automotive Innovation Fund web page

2015 Ford Edge web page



The new Ford Edge, a crossover vehicle that will be produced at Ford's Oakville facility, is in part the result of a repayable contribution of up to $71.6 million through the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF) to Ford's Project Northern Star in 2013.

The contribution to Ford Motor Company of Canada is helping transform its Oakville plant into a state-of-the-art, global manufacturing facility, making it one of only five Ford facilities worldwide to have the flexible global CD4 platform.

Project Northern Star is part of a five-year, $716-million project to establish a global platform in Oakville, including the expansion of Ford's R&D activities in Canada. The project will create jobs not only in Oakville but also across the Canadian supply chain.

About the Automotive Innovation Fund

The Harper Government first introduced the AIF in Budget 2008, providing $250 million over five years. On January 4, 2013, Prime Minister Harper announced the renewal of the AIF. The renewed fund is providing $250 million over five years (2013-2018) to automotive companies in Canada in support of strategic, large-scale R&D projects. In Budget 2014, the government announced another $500 million over two years for the AIF.

The AIF aims to:

  • build automotive R&D capacity in Canada and secure high-value jobs;
  • enhance the government's science and technology and environmental agendas;
  • support the development, implementation and commercialization of advanced and green technologies and advanced products or processes;
  • promote long-term economic benefits to Canada, including significant job creation and retention; and
  • serve as a catalyst for further private sector investments to foster Canadian competitiveness.

AIF support has leveraged up to $2.77 billion in R&D and innovation investments in Canada's automotive sector and is contributing to:

  • the development and commercialization of new products;
  • advanced and expanded flexible manufacturing processes and facilities;
  • enhanced research and development capacity;
  • leading-edge engineering and design; and
  • made-in-Canada innovation.

To date, the AIF has provided repayable contributions to four companies, including up to:

  • $80 million toward an investment of up to $730 million by Ford Motor Company of Canada to establish a flexible engine assembly plant and create an advanced powertrain research centre in Windsor, Ontario;
  • $54.8 million toward an investment of up to $365 million by Linamar Corporation to develop and commercialize advanced components and modules in three product areas: transmissions, engines and drivelines;
  • $70.8 million toward an investment of up to $506 million by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. to maximize production efficiency, reduce emissions and upgrade equipment to permit the production of more fuel-efficient vehicles including electric vehicles;
  • $21.7 million toward an investment of up to $199 million by Magna International to develop energy-efficient components for vehicles and innovative powertrain components for next-generation vehicles;
  • $16.8 million toward an investment of up to $120 million by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. to establish an assembly line for the new Lexus RX450h hybrid, supporting hybrid expertise in the Canadian supplier base, and to increase capacity for the RX350 model in Cambridge, Ontario;
  • $71.6 million toward an investment of up to $716 million to install a state-of-the-art global manufacturing platform at Ford Motor Company of Canada's Oakville Assembly Complex and to conduct fuel consumption and emissions R&D; and
  • $50.7 million toward an investment of up to $507 million by Linamar Corporation to develop and produce innovative fuel-efficient powertrain components for next-generation automotive transmissions.

Canada's approach to creating a competitive automotive industry

Canada has much to offer the automotive manufacturing industry: the AIF, a large and sophisticated supply cluster, the new bridge between Windsor and Detroit, support for automotive R&D, a stable economy, a highly skilled and productive workforce, well-developed infrastructure, access to markets and a favourable environment for automotive R&D.

The AIF is part of the government's broader approach to create economic conditions that support a strong Canadian auto industry. The government's approach also includes a fiscal and economic framework that will keep the industry competitive, including:

  • a sound banking system;
  • the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7;
  • the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7;
  • a triple-A credit rating; and
  • investments in automotive R&D.

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Contact Information

  • Jake Enwright
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Industry

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada