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Ontario Partners with Auto Industry to Boost Supply Chain Competitiveness

April 11, 2021 | Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Toronto — The Ontario government is investing $10 million in auto parts companies through the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP) to boost competitiveness and position Ontario as a North American hub for building the car of the future. Funding awarded so far will leverage $25.8 million in industry investments.

"The strength, innovation and quality of our automotive supply chain has been essential in attracting almost $6 billion in new vehicle assembly investments to Ontario," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "O-AMP provides targeted support to help auto parts manufacturers make critical investments in technology and training to enable them to keep ahead in a globally competitive industry."

O-AMP was launched in September 2019 as a centrepiece of Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario's Automotive Sector, the government's plan for a strong and sustainable auto industry. The program is helping small- and medium-sized automotive parts suppliers get better, stronger and faster by investing in technology adoption and/or training in lean manufacturing. More than 100 projects are either underway or in the pipeline and will create about 570 jobs.

Examples of O-AMP projects and how they add value include:

Global Plas Inc., Concord
The company makes interior, exterior and under-the-hood plastic components used in the auto industry. Global Plas invested in new injection molding technology and an automation system that increases production efficiency while reducing material wastage costs, enabling the company to expand its business. O-AMP funding of $87,210 was matched by an investment by Global Plas of $105,957. The project has assisted Global Plas to add 36 new jobs.

Kinto Canada Ltd., Windsor
The company makes connectors and fixtures used in the automotive industry (including electric vehicles), electric locomotives, renewable energy and power transmission. Kinto Canada invested in technology to automate and digitize some of the company's machining and grinding processes. The upgrades helped to reduce lead times for customers, increase productivity and reduce materials wastage. O-AMP funding of $100,000 was matched by an investment by Kinto Canada of $141,607, helping to retain eight jobs.

Listowel Technology, Inc., Listowel
The company produces plastic molded parts for the Honda Civic and CRV. Listowel Technology invested in advanced production technology using lean manufacturing processes to secure additional work building the centre panel for the 2022 Honda Civic program. O-AMP funding of $100,000 was matched by an investment by Listowel Technology of $441,334. The project has assisted the company to add 28 new jobs.

"The Canadian and Ontario auto industries have a generation-defining opportunity to lead in the design, engineering and manufacture of modern vehicle technologies — zero emissions, light-weight, connected and autonomous," said Flavio Volpe, President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association. "The targeted investments of the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program will assist our ambitious and innovative auto parts companies stay at the leading-edge of technology and innovation."

"By partnering with Ontario's innovative and ambitious auto parts companies, we can help prepare our supply chain to seize growth opportunities stemming from NAFTA 2.0 and its increased regional content requirements for vehicles," said Minister Fedeli. "As our government works to lay the foundation our economic recovery from COVID-19, we will continue our collaborative partnerships to keep the auto industry at the forefront of innovation, jobs and exports for years to come."

Ontario's 2021 Budget announced further support for the auto sector by investing $56.4 million over the next four years to create the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN). OVIN will build on successful elements of the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN), accelerating the development of next generation electric, connected and autonomous vehicle and mobility technologies, as well as supporting Ontario's role as the manufacturing hub of Canada.

OVIN will also encourage collaboration between small- and medium-sized enterprises, academia, the auto industry and the battery sector, including critical minerals development in Ontario's North. This will ensure MEDJCT stakeholders in the automotive and associated sectors across the province have access to the support they need to prepare for and build the next generation of vehicles.

Ontario also wrapped up the virtual auto-tech trade mission to Silicon Valley to promote the province's auto-tech ecosystem. The mission showcased the "Ontario Made" advantage in both automotive manufacturing and leading-edge technology.

There were over 200 B2B connections made with more than 60 California-based companies and investors. Minister Fedeli's program also includes meetings with senior business executives in the auto and tech industries to promote Ontario as a leading jurisdiction including ElringKlinger, Tesla, LeddarTech, Gatik AI, Flex-N-Gate, and Linamar.

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