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Canada bites back

Publication: 
Editorial Staff
chiefofficersnet

Here's a puzzle - what's northern, big, white and grumpy? No, it's not a polar bear. It's Canada - at least when it comes to its car manufacturing industry. What's that, you say? Does Canada have a car manufacturing industry? Apparently so.

According to the Canadian government, Hyundai and Kia shipped 114.000 cars to Canada - but less than 100 Canadian built cars were imported into Korea.

And now the Premier of Canadian province Ottawa says that if the national government doesn't fix the imbalance by forcing the South Koreans to take Canadian cars, he will impose provincial tariffs so as to erode the price advantage of the imports.

Dalton McGuinty told listeners to a Canadian radio programme "in the event that the federal government unwisely enters into a free-trade agreement that does not protect the interests of the auto-sector here in Ontario and in Canada then we will have an obligation..[to take action] from a provincial perspective."

And he's a man with a plan: he's contacted Tata Motor to ask if they intend to sell the Nano in Canada and, if so, would they make it in Ontario. But he's tight lipped on whether he's had any response. Hardly surprising: Tata has said quite plainly that its current plan is to make the car in and for India. But one suspects that Tata is getting half a dozen emails a day from hopeful governments wanting to have a Nano plant in their country.

Actually, a small amount of digging produces a surprisingly large amount of information about Ontario's automotive industry.

For example - it has no indigenous manufacturers but it has 14 assembly plants and more than 450 component manufacturers. In 2005, the production was worth just shy of CDN90,000 million. That's a shedload of money for an industry that's barely known outside its own borders.

Ontario claims to be "North America’s success story" with DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Suzuki and Toyota all setting up shop. And in addition, huge R&D expenditure is being made.

Here's the real surprise:

North America’s Top Vehicle Manufacturing Jurisdictions

 

State/Province

2005 Light Vehicle Production

1

Ontario

2,624,212

2

Michigan

2,476,123

3

Ohio

1,795,626

4

Missouri

1,147,896

5

Kentucky

1,109,480

6

Indiana

772,858

7

Tennessee

692,966

8

Alabama

479,465

9

Illinois

455,262

10

California

417,369

Source: Ward’s AutoInfoBank, Feb. 6, 2006

And some of North America's biggest selling cars are made only in Ontario:

Company

Car Brand

CAMI

Chevrolet Equinox, Pontiac Torrent, 2007 Suzuki XL7

DaimlerChrysler

Chrysler 300C/Dodge Magnum, Dodge Charger, Chrysler Pacificia

Ford

Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis, Ford Freestar, 2007 Ford Edge & Lincoln MKX

GM

Camaro, Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix, Buick LaCrosse/Allure

Honda

Acura CSX, Acura MDX, Civic Coupe, Ridgeline SUT

Toyota

Matrix

Source 2ontario.com - government website.

Just how surprised are you?