Ford Motor Co. is studying a plan to upgrade its assembly plant located near Toronto. Talks have commenced with the governments of Canada and Ontario but so far, Ford has not submitted an official request for funding.
Sandra Pupatello, Ontario's minister of economic development and trade, confirmed that there have been talks about a proposed retooling of the Oakville plant, west of Toronto.
She declined to provide specifics about the project but in a general manner, she said that the province is willing to give financial support so that the U.S. auto industry will remain competitive.
Pupatello told Reuters that the province wants to maintain the health of the auto sector. She said that she realizes that it is a very competitive industry and that there are other jurisdictions that are ready to “spend far more than we ever have to create an industry." She said that everything will be done so that the region will be able to keep its edge.
Last Thursday, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported that Ford has approached Ottawa and Ontario for funds to retool the Oakville plant to widen the types of vehicles it can manufacture. A source said that the project is priced between C$500 million ($521 million) and C$1 billion.
Ford Canada CEO David Mondragon said that the company meets regularly with government officials. He also said that the talks have briefly discussed Ford’s plan to assemble other vehicles in Canada that could be sold internationally.