Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced her government’s support for the first plug-in hybrid electric minivan to be built in North America, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.
Ontario is partnering with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada (FCA Canada) to support production of the minivan at the Windsor Assembly Plant. The project will safeguard the facility, has created 1,200 new jobs and will secure 4,000 existing positions. It will also support thousands of direct and indirect jobs across Ontario’s automotive supply chain.
Ontario will provide up to $85.8 million in funding to FCA Canada from the Jobs and Prosperity Fund for enhanced research at the Automotive Research and Development Centre. The money will also support the world-class workforce at the Windsor Assembly Plant through advanced training and plant upgrades for the production of the Chrysler Pacifica. “We are grateful for the support of the Ontario government and appreciate our strong working relationship. We are proud of our world-class workforce, the new research capabilities of the ARDC and the exciting new Chrysler Pacifica,” F.C.A. Canada CEO Reid Bigland said.
This investment builds on Ontario’s competitive advantages by supporting a highly skilled workforce and a business climate that enables innovative research. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid will also contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Later today, the Premier will participate in a fireside chat at the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association conference in Windsor before travelling to Detroit for meetings with the Ford Motor Company and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Premier Wynne’s visit to Michigan marks the beginning of her three-city tour of the U.S. Over the next three days, the Premier will visit Detroit, Washington and Boston to increase trade and strengthen partnerships between Ontario and the U.S.
The Premier will meet with federal and regional officials in Washington tomorrow to build positive relationships with U.S. legislators and advance Ontario’s trade priorities, including the softwood lumber and dairy industries.
On Friday, the Premier will travel to Boston to promote Ontario’s leadership in innovation and expertise in the information and communications technology and financial services sectors. While in Boston, the Premier will meet with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to discuss new trade opportunities and share ideas on developing innovative, knowledge-based economies.
This is Fiat-Chrysler Canada’s second request for government funding. In 2014 they withdrew a requested $700 million from the federal, and provincial government after it former Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak labelled it a ransom demand and urged the government not agree.