Mayors of auto towns call for dedicated 'champion' in
Municipal leaders from across the province whose communities host auto
assembly plants met in Oakville last week to discuss the state of the
industry and its future and emerged with three recommendations for the
provincial government to implement.
New Tecumseth mayor Mike MacEachern participated in the two sessions
held last Thursday and Friday and joined the movement to reactivate the
Automotive Mayors Caucus to organize an automotive Policy Summit next
year. Among their recommendations to the provincial government:
Create a Premier's Auto Champion - an official in the
Premier's Office who will work in collaboration with relevant
ministries, including the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and
Request Auto Mayors representation in strategic auto policy
groups - including the Canadian Automotive Policy Partnership and the
Canadian Automotive Partnership Council, to formulate coordinated
Launch auto sector awareness campaign - work with other
levels of government to increase awareness of the strategic importance
of the auto sector to the Ontario and overall Canadian economy.
"New Tecumseth is proud to be the home of Honda Canada Manufacturing,"
according to the mayor in a press release issued yesterday afternoon.
"The company and its affiliates play a vital role in our economy,
providing more than 4,000 jobs locally. I will be working with my
fellow mayors to encourage consideration for the important contribution
that automotive manufacturing makes to our community."
Ontario's auto plants include:
CAMI Automotive: Ingersoll;
Chrysler: Brampton and Windsor;
General Motors: Oshawa;
Honda: Alliston; and
Toyota: Cambridge and Woodstock.
According to mayor MacEachern's press release, "industry experts ...
discussed the economic outlook and importance of the auto industry to
Ontario's economy. The experts stressed the need for Canadian auto
production to keep pace with global sector growth and to manage the
regulatory impact on competitiveness."
The other theme they heard related to the shrinking level of auto
investments in Ontario, and production moving south to the U.S. and
Mexico in growing numbers.
It's a fate New Tecumseth knows well as Honda has shifted vehicle lines
once introduced and produced in Alliston including the Accord, Odyssey,
Pilot, Ridgeline, and Acura ZDX and MDX, to American based plants. What
remains in Alliston is the Honda Civic Sedan, Si and Coupe in Plant 1,
and Civic Sedan and CR-V in Plant 2, producing 390,000 annually by
approximately 4,000 Associates.
Honda's last significant investment in New Tecumseth was in 2006, a
$154 million 4-cylinder engine plant which opened in 2008 with an
annual capacity of 200,000 engines. It was to employ 340 people. Also
in 2008, MAPCAN, a $16 million investment to produce molton aluminum
for Honda's new engine plant, was opened across the road. In June 2012,
MAPCAN was closed down, and today the site on Industrial Parkway and
the Tottenham Road, is back to greenfield.