General Motors to expand engineering base in Canada with 1,000 new workers
General Motors has revealed a large expansion of its engineering operations in Canada.
The company was joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne in Oshawa to announce a major expansion of its engineering and software work in Canada with focus on supporting the development of innovative new automotive systems and technologies for the future.
GM will expand its Canadian engineering base to reach a total of approximately 1000 positions over the next few years. The new GM Canada work will be focused in the areas of Autonomous Vehicle Software & Controls Development, Active Safety and Vehicle Dynamics Technology, Infotainment and Connected Vehicle Technology, all important areas for the development of new connected, autonomous and shared vehicles and mobility systems.
This will bring the Oshawa Tech Centre beyond its maximum capacity and as a result, GM will also soon open a new Automotive Software Development Centre in Markham Ontario. Hiring for the new positions has commenced and more details will follow in the weeks ahead.
Additionally, GM will be investing $10 million in its Kapuskasing Cold Weather testing facility which is an important part of our engineering capability based in Canada where we conduct important testing for a wide range of new GM products and technologies.
GM Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, Mark Reuss stated that, “We selected Canada for this expansion because of its clear capacity for innovation, proven talent and strong ecosystem of great universities, startups and innovative suppliers. With this expansion, GM Canada will play an important role in our evolution toward vehicles that are connected, autonomous, shared and electric.”
Steve Carlisle, President and Managing Director, General Motors Canada, said, “A dynamic new innovation cluster is emerging here to support some of the most exciting work in our global industry. We look forward to working with Canada’s leaders and innovation partners to place Canada at the forefront of the key transportation technologies that are changing our world for the better. ”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “The investments announced today will create good paying jobs, grow Canada’s middle class, and ensure a brighter future for all Canadians. Meeting with CEO Mary Barra at the World Economic Forum, I made the case for investing in Canada. I applaud GM for choosing Canada to be the home base for its global centre for advanced vehicle software development.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne said, "Our government welcomes the long-term commitment to Ontario that GM has shown with this investment. Our province's talented and highly skilled workforce, world-class research universities and leadership in innovation make Ontario a great place to grow a business. Our investments in people's talent and skills and in the transition to a low-carbon economy are helping us deliver on our top priority - creating jobs and growth.”
Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development said, “GM Canada’s announcement of new engineering jobs shows the world that Canada is a lead player in a competitive global industry. Canada has a world-class automotive sector and the innovative capacity to build the car of the future. Key to our strengths are the talented and creative people with the ability to transform bright ideas into cutting-edge products. These talented people demonstrate how Canadians support companies in their drive to become global leaders in their field. Our government is committed to partnerships with industry that encourage new investments, high-value exports and the creation of new jobs that result in a stronger auto sector and a growing, thriving middle class.”
Hon. Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure said. "Today's announcement sends a positive signal to the global auto industry that Ontario is the ideal location for developing and commercializing disruptive technologies. Our government will continue its close partnerships with industry, labour, and the innovation sector to secure the province's long-term future as a leader for auto innovation and advanced manufacturing. Congratulations to GM Canada on this significant achievement, and we look forward to our continued partnership."
Earlier this year, GM Canada opened its 2908 Communitech Innovation Lab in Waterloo, Ontario with focus on incubating urban mobility and connected vehicle innovations. In April, the company also announced its purchase of property in south eastern Toronto as the base for a new Urban Mobility Campus to be comprised of office space, research & development facilities, vehicle sales and services including sales of electric vehicles.
More information about GM Canada’s work in automotive innovation can be found at www.gminnovates.ca.
Read the June 2016 issue of Business Review USA & Canada magazine
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.