Honda Canada is planning to make a C$857 million ($750 million) investment -- including a conditional grant of up to C$85.7 million from the province of Ontario -- over three years to upgrade manufacturing sites in Alliston, Ontario.
The Canadian site will be the global lead for output of the next-generation Honda Civic. Under the plan, site will develop manufacturing processes and tooling trials for Honda plants around the world that will build the next Civic model. Jerry Chenkin, chief executive of Honda Canada, said in a statement that this will be the first time that a Honda plant outside Japan has been designated as a “global lead plant."
The carmaker noted that Civic has the best-selling passenger car in Canada for the past 16 years. The investment will be used on technologies and processes to modernize the site's two auto assembly plants and one engine plant.
Honda's vehicle and engine manufacturing operations in Canada have the capacity to build up to 390,000 Civic and CR-V models as well as 240,000 four-cylinder engines annually.
Honda became the first Japanese carmaker to have manufacturing operations in Canada in 1986. Honda’s investment plan comes weeks after Ford refused calls to invest anew at its plants in Windsor, Ontario, the head of Canada's main auto workers union told Reuters.