One Industry, Many Strengths
Southwestern Ontario is one of the world's most successful regions for automotive assembly and parts production.
- Ontario produces more vehicles than any other jurisdiction in North America - nearly 1.5 million vehicles in 2009
- Ontario produces 1 out of every 6 vehicles in North America
- Four out of 10 of North America's most productive assembly plants are in Ontario
- Transportation equipment is the largest sector in Ontario's economy, accounting for 1/3 of all manufacturing shipments
- Nearly 170,000 people are employed in the province's automotive and transportation industries.
Canada's Industrial Heartland is situated in the center of this network, within a two-hour drive of nearly all of the province's $66 billion industry and within a day's drive of North America's $450 billion market.
A Major Link in North America's Automotive Supply Chain
The Heartland's large network of superhighways and railways offers unparalleled access to North American markets, supporting high-volume traffic flow through the region and across the border into Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and New York.
- Southwestern Ontario is home to 14 car and light truck assembly plants, 2 heavy-duty truck assembly plants and the majority of Ontario's 500 parts manufacturers
- 70% of North America's assembly plants are within a day's drive of the SOMA region.
- A strong, local supply chain contributes to the low unit costs of production and high productivity among the Heartland's parts producers
- Raw and processed non-ferrous metals, plastics and high-quality steel all exist within a morning's delivery drive to local manufacturers
- Canada's Industrial Heartland hosts a world-class Tool and Die industry with many outstanding job shops, casting operations, heat treatment facilities, stamping operations and plating facilities.
With an economy growing faster than any G-7 nation, Ontario has lower business costs overall than the United States, Sweden, United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany.
Manufacturing wages and benefits costs are approximately 23% lower in Canada than in the United States with top level health care leading the way at an advantage of over 50% when comparing employer costs.
By 2012, corporate taxes in Ontario will be 33% lower than the U.S. average, and is already lower than most U.S. states.
Both the Federal and Provincial governments are proactive in their support for the transportation industry with a variety of incentives and programs specifically designed to meet the sector's needs. R&D initiatives alone help to lower the after-tax costs of research and development to manufacturers in Ontario to between 40 to 50% of their expenditures.
Nearly 60% of the Heartland's manufacturing workforce is employed in transportation equipment and automotive-related industries. This includes many skilled tradespeople who work at all levels of the supply chain, including (among others):
- Tool and die makers
- Industrial mechanic
- Industrial electricians
- General machinists
- Mould makers
Local community colleges and universities work in partnership with large manufacturers and government to ensure that there is a continued supply of skilled workers with engineering, computer, advanced manufacturing technologies, tool and die and other essential skills.