Ford hires 300 for Canadian connected car research

Mar 31, 2017, 00:31
Ford hires 300 for Canadian connected car research

The federal and provincial governments each committed a $102.4-million conditional grant to the company, bringing the total investment in Windsor to about $600 million.

Ford is also establishing an Ottawa Research and Engineering Centre, which will draw on the expertise of Ontario's highly skilled workers to deliver the next generation of connected vehicle technology. A further 100 jobs are being created in the United States.

Canada announced it will spend as much as $337.9 million on a new research and development centre in Ottawa that will focus on developing self-driving vehicles. Meaning it will hone in on vehicle modems, new driver-assist features and autonomous vehicles.

The Oakville facility and another in Waterloo, Ontario, will work in parallel with labs in the U.S. states of North Carolina and Florida.

The Ontario government said the investment will create 300 new jobs at Ford in the province and protect hundreds more.

"This is about positioning Canada as a global centre for automotive innovation, creating better opportunities for Canadians, and keeping Canada's automotive manufacturing sector competitive", said Trudeau. "These are the kind of things that can happen when we all work together".

The company was also set to release details on plans to add a new engine line for pickups at the Essex plant.

Earlier in the week, Ford announced $1.9 billion in investments at home in MI.

Ford said it is spending $375 million (C$500 million) on the project. The engineers previously worked at Blackberry's mobile communications group and have experience working with QNX, the operating system Ford used for its Sync 3 infotainment system. Combining those investments is how we get to the $1.9 billion figure for the company's new investments in MI in 2017.

Ford agreed during contract negotiations with Unifor last fall to invest $700-million in its Canadian operations, which include two engine plants in Windsor and the assembly plant in Oakville. The company makes a 5.0-liter V8 engine at Essex Engine and a 6.8-liter V10 engine for heavy-duty trucks and large vans at Windsor Engine.

The Essex plant was a focus of Unifor's labor contract talks with Ford previous year.

Dias, who gave a fist pump ripped his tie off the moment he stepped to the podium, displayed his passion for the Windsor workers in attendance by telling them umpteen times that this was "their day".

"Ford is being very aggressive but so are many others so they've got a lot of competition. We have 1.2 billion reasons to be here today".

Editor's note: Earlier versions of this story misspelled the surname of Ford of Canada CEO Mark Buzzell.

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