Key facts about Canada's automotive industry

By anna smith

Canada’s Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced that the state is working closely with automakers to boost investment in the industry. This announcement comes as the government welcomes an agreement between Canada’s Unifor union and General Motors Co GM. N.

Bains told reporters: "We're currently working closely with the automakers to make sure that we look at means to bring investment and I'm very delighted to hear about the agreement between GM and Unifor. That's a very positive development."

In its 2016 budget, Canada's government said that it would extend the country's Automotive Innovation Fund, which uses government funds to encourage industry investment.

We take a look at the current state of Canada’s automotive industry:

  • The Canadian auto sector has lost 53,000 jobs in the last 15 years, according to the Automotive Policy Research Centre. The research initiative claims that work shifted to plants in Mexico and the southern U.S.   
  • However, according to a 2016 Scotiabank report. auto industry shipments surged 29 percent year-over-year in the opening month of 2016, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the year-over-year gain across all of Canada’s manufacturing activity.
  • The same report states that auto parts employment in Canada has advanced by 5 percent over the past year, the sharpest gain since 2000. This is also double the advance in the United States.
  • The Canadian automotive industry is the world’s eighth largest, with positive trade balance
  • The Canadian automotive industry produces light duty vehicles (cars, vans, pickup trucks; heavy duty vehicles) trucks, transit buses, school buses, military vehicles. It also generates a wide range of parts, components, and systems used in vehicles of this nature
  • The auto sector is Canada's biggest contributor to manufacturing GDP and its largest manufacturing employer.
  • Under NAFTA and the newly announced free trade agreement with the European Union, Canada has access to some of the largest automotive markets in the world. These trade agreements allow automotive investors in Canada to benefit from integrated global supply chains and seize new export market opportunities.

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