Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Sun rising, not setting, on Canadian manufacturing, survey says

February 9, 2010
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Canadians want a made-in-Canada solution to manufacturing a vibrant economy emerging from the recession, according to a nation-wide survey released today.

Highlights of the poll conducted by Harris-Decima for Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and Food & Consumer Products of Canada include:

• Canadians believe that the nation’s manufacturers are more than competitive with foreign manufacturers.

• A solid majority claim that equivalent goods manufactured in Canada will be of higher quality (51%), better overall value (57%) although also higher priced (75%) that the same good produced outside of the country.


•  When Canadian manufacturers marshal the case that their products are of equal value to foreign goods, the choice of Canadians overwhelming is to choose the Canadian product (93%).

• Canadians are unsure whether the jobs lost in the manufacturing sector in the recession can be replaced.

• Equal numbers believe that these jobs can be replaced by the manufacturing sector (46%) as there are those who feel that these jobs will never come back (47%).

• Notwithstanding this uncertainty, Canadians are not prepared to turn their backs on Canadian manufacturers.

• Over two-thirds of the population rejects the notion that Canada cannot complete with other lower cost countries for manufactured goods and that we should be looking to other sectors for future job growth. Instead they hold that a strong economy requires a strong manufacturing sector and that we should be striving for ways to protect these jobs.

“In a time when Canadians seem to be still smarting from the recession and uncertain about recovery, they also continue to show surprising faith in our manufacturing sector,” said Allan Gregg, chair of Allan Gregg Strategies/Decima Research “Not only do they ascribe positive attributes to Canadian manufactured goods, they also report that, if presented with a foreign alternative of equal value, their inclination is to choose Canadian. As voters, they are uncertain about the sector’s post-recession resilience but continue to believe that manufacturing is a vital part of our prosperity.”

“Canadians haven’t written off manufacturing and governments shouldn’t either,” said Jayson Myers, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. “As Canada’s largest business sector, manufacturing is the wealth creation, innovative segment of the Canadian economy with jobs paying well above the national average. Manufacturing is the future, our future.”

“Canadians want a strong manufacturing sector in our country and want to keep high quality jobs here at home," said Nancy Croitoru, President & CEO of Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC).  "With Canada’s rich natural resources and skilled workforce, we have a competitive advantage with the potential to grow, and we are up to the challenge."

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and Food & Consumer Products of Canada commissioned Allan Gregg Strategies and Harris Decima to conduct a comprehensive, nation-wide study to better understand the consumer mindset, coming out of the recession. Canadian field work for this study was conducted between January 14th and 17th and consisted of 1000 completed interviews among adult Canadians and will yield results that can be projected to the total population within a margin of error of +/– 3.1 percent.  In this third release of results, we look at Canadian’s perceptions of domestic and foreign manufacturing as they emerge from the recession.

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