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Canada and Ontario Welcome Historic Investment from Volkswagen

March 20, 2023

Canada and Ontario Welcome Historic Investment from Volkswagen

Volkswagen, one of Europe’s largest automaker, announced that its subsidiary PowerCo will establish an electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facility in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada.

Following this announcement, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following joint statement:

“Earlier today, Volkswagen announced that it has selected St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, as the location to build the company’s first overseas battery cell plant. Today’s news is a major vote of confidence in Canada and Ontario, and in our shared work to position the country and the province as a global leader on the electric vehicle supply chain.

“This historic investment is a testament to Canada’s strong and growing battery ecosystem and Ontario’s competitive business environment. With a highly skilled workforce, clean energy, an abundance of critical minerals, access to markets, and a flourishing automotive and battery sector, we are an attractive investment destination with everything companies need to grow. In addition, Canada and Ontario offer stability and predictability to their business partners.

“This investment is another significant step forward as we build a clean transportation sector to meet global and North American demand for zero-emission vehicles.

“We will continue to build on this success by growing our EV ecosystem and supporting clean technology to create well-paying jobs and spur economic growth and prosperity for future generations.”

Quick Facts

  • Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest automakers, with US$295.8 billion in revenue (C$406 billion) in 2022. It manages a portfolio of ten companies.
  • On August 23, 2022, the Government of Canada and Volkswagen signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Volkswagen AG to further collaborate across a range of sectors to help secure Canada’s position as a leading centre of excellence for the manufacturing of electric vehicles and batteries and help ensure that Canada is a destination of choice for investments.
  • Since 2020, Canada and Ontario have attracted over C$17 billion in investments by global automakers and suppliers of electric vehicles batteries and battery materials. Ontario is the only place in North America where five major automakers build their vehicles, including Honda, Toyota, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.
  • Canada’s auto sector supports nearly 500,000 workers, contributes C$16 billion annually to Canada’s gross domestic product, and is one of the country’s largest export industries. Ontario’s auto supply chain is comprises over 700 parts firms, over 500 tool, die and mold makers, and over 300 connected and autonomous companies.
  • Canada and Ontario are top destinations for European investors, with recent investments in the battery supply chain by companies like Belgium’s Umicore, demonstrating the strong and growing potential for collaboration in the clean technology and automotive space.

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Ontario Innovation Takes Centre Stage During Trade Mission to the United States

The Ontario government has concluded a successful trade mission to the United States to promote the province’s flourishing automotive, technology and life sciences sectors and attract new investment opportunities.

Two delegations of more than 29 Ontario companies, led by Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, represented the province at two of the world’s largest technology and innovation conferences – the Consumer Electronics Show and the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference and Biotech Showcase.

For the first portion of the trade mission, 16 Ontario companies participated in the Consumer Electronics Show (January 5 – 8), one of the largest and most influential tech events in the world. Project Arrow, the first, all-Canadian, zero-emission connected vehicle — designed and built in Ontario — was unveiled at the show, demonstrating the province’s world-class automotive capabilities and innovation.

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