“The cars of the future will be built in Ontario”

Canadian government officials with officials from Stellantis and LG Energy at the site of the new electric-vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Windsor, March 23, 2022.

Windsor will be getting a major investment toward the future of the automotive industry.

The joint venture with Stellantis and LG Energy Group will construct a $5-billion electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor. This represents the largest Canadian investment in the automotive industry in history.

The plant will provide battery systems for Stellantis facilities across North America. The plant will be on a 220-acre piece of land on Twin Oaks Drive and will have a 45-gigawatt production capacity.

The facility will employ 2500 people when it is fully operational in 2025.

“The full gamut, similar to an assembly plant from the folks on the line, very highly skilled folks. That’s another reason why we selected this area,” said Stellantis North America COO Mark Stewart. “The skillset of the folks here in the Windsor area is just outstanding but engineering jobs, management jobs, line jobs, logistics jobs, the whole works.”

Premier Doug Ford was in Windsor Wednesday for the official announcement, accompanied by Mayor Drew Dilkens, federal Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne, and provincial Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli.

“The cars of the future will be built in Ontario, from start to finish,” said Ford. “We made a promise to transform our auto sector by harnessing and unleashing Ontario-made innovation and leveraging our highly-skilled workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided taped remarks via video from his Ottawa office, congratulating officials on the announcement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the Windsor EV battery project via videolink from Ottawa, March 23, 2022. Courtesy Canadian Innovation/Facebook.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the Windsor EV battery project via videolink from Ottawa, March 23, 2022. Courtesy Canadian Innovation/Facebook.

“I just cannot say enough about the tremendous support from the local municipality from provincial as well as from the federal side to help make this happen. It helped make this business case to bring this right here to Windsor,” said Stewart.

Neither the provincial or federal government would detail exactly what the contribution was from either level of government.

“I know between Ontario and Canada were putting hundreds of millions of dollars in, I can’t divulge that, that would compromise some negotiations with other companies moving forward but it’s a massive investment,” said Ford.

The City of Windsor is contributing about $45 million in total through waiving development charges and CIP program rebates.

“Our big contribution was the acquisition of the land and the lease back of the land to the joint venture,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “There were multiple land owners, there are multiple owners, we have conditional offers with almost all of them at this point and we have a pathway if we can’t get conditional offers with the final one but we’ll be able to meet the company’s timeline to be able to get them in the ground this fall.”

With files from Mark Brown