Ontario ready to aid GM, FCA with plant spending

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Tony Faria, the co-director of automotive and vehicle research at the University of Windsor, believes FCA will approach Ontario for aid.

“In the past, Ontario has been very cooperative with the automakers,” Faria said.

He said government support in Canada usually equates to 20 per cent of the total investment announced by the automaker, usually split equally between the province and federal government. 

Elsewhere, that financial assistance could total as much as 70 per cent, as was the case in Chattanooga, Tenn., when Volkswagen built a plant there.

“I don’t think FCA is going to pay for the new paint shop themselves. I would find it hard to imagine FCA would agree to an investment like that without government support,” he said. “They’re going to go into talks to see what kind of support they can get for it.

“Ontario has made it clear to FCA that they’re willing to talk anytime FCA wants to talk.”

Unifor only has Ford Motor Co. on this year’s list of auto negotiations, which are set to resume after FCA workers ratify their contract. Investment in the Windsor engine plants is top priority for the union — and for Duguid, too.

“The next target is those Ford engine plants. We strongly want to see investments made there,” Duguid said. “If there’s any way we can work with Ford to do that, we will.”

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