Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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‘Das Auto’ in Ontario?


April 19, 2010
By Mary Del


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If the Ontario government gets its way, a Volkswagen AG engine or transmission plant may soon find its way to the province.

The German automaker is expected to begin production at a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. It’s believed that the company will then require more engine and transmission facilities to supply the new vehicles – which should total around 150,000 annually.

Knowing that it can’t compete financially against US states, the province will try to lure the automaker by means of Ontario’s skilled workforce and expertise in innovation. These two components might be attractive to the company, seeing as it has to ensure its vehicles are 25 percent more efficient by 2016.

Unfortunately, many experts believe Ontario is not likely to end up victorious in this bidding war. The US government recently established a $25-billion fund to assist automakers in developing new, fuel efficient technologies. The high Loonie also probably doesn’t help matters.

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Ontario lost its original bid for the assembly plant that eventually found its way to Tennessee. Tennessee offered $577 million for the facility.