On March 3, Driving is presenting the latest in its series of Driving into the Future seminars. And for many Canadians, this will be the most important of the roundtables we’ll host this year: The state of auto manufacturing in Canada. 

Auto manufacturing in Canada is in the midst of a remarkable resurgence. What started as a complete surprise—Ford announcing that its Oakville assembly plant would live on as a centre for electric vehicle production—turned into a tidal wave as FCA (now renamed Stellantis) signed an agreement that would see its famed Windsor facility produce plug-in electric vehicles and General Motors designated its Ingersoll, Ontario plant as the assembly location for the all-new BrightDrop EV600 electric delivery truck.

But how do we capitalize on this incredible turnaround? Can Canada really become an EV powerhouse? Is there really a future for manufacturing batteries in Canada? Will we finally harness the power of our clean energy and wealth of commodities? And can we really become the auto industry’s Silicon Valley North in developing — and testing — the self-driving cars we’ve been promised so long? 

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And what of our legacy automakers, the marques that didn’t cut back on their assembly lines in Canada? Is Toyota, the most prolific automaker in our country — yes, bigger than any of the Big Three — going to build more hybrids in Canada? What about Honda, whose Alliston plant churns out the Civics and CR-Vs we all love so much?

To help us gain some insight into the future of the all-important auto industry, we’re going to hear from: Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor and the man who’s bringing all those jobs back to Canada; Dennis DesRosiers, head of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants and the man who keeps all Canada’s automakers honest; Scott Mackenzie, senior national manager of external affairs of Toyota Canada and the man who’s going to explain how hybrids are good both for the environment and our economy; and, lastly, David Paterson, GM’s VP of corporate and environmental affairs whose team helped bring back truck production to Oshawa.

In 2019, Canadian autoworkers built 5,200 cars and light trucks every day generating more than $80 billion in exports, 13 per cent of Canada’s total. More importantly, some 500,000 Canadians earn their pay cheques at assembly plants from the production, sale or repair of the automobile. So join us on Wednesday, March 3 at 11:00 AM as Postmedia hosts the most important of its Driving into the Future roundtables: the future of the engine that drives Canada.



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