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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.

Competitive Advantages

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.


Innovative Growth

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.

Learn more about R&D Tax Incentives Here.


Skilled Workforce

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
  • Engineers

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.