The Stellantis EV battery plant currently under construction in Windsor, Ont., may be at risk if Canada’s federal government fails to match the investment level announced recently for the VW gigafactory.
That VW battery plant was reportedly up for as much as $13.2 billion in subsidies, most tied to production targets over several years, but with some $1.2B CAD in initial grants from federal and provincial governments.
In March 2022, Stellantis and LG Energy Solution announced the formation of a joint venture company to establish that large-scale, domestic, electric-vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Windsor to support the company’s electric battery development. With an investment of $5 billion CAD ($4.1 billion USD) and the creation of an estimated 2,500 new jobs,
At the time of the announcement it was the largest such investment in Canada, with the federal government kicking in $500 million.
Why we cover this: Though it’s not specifically directed at the aftermarket, the historic nature of major EV investment warrants inclusion as the expected economic knock-on effects will certainly be significant both for the immediate vicinity of the plant, as well as the larger Canadian and North American supply chain.
The reports, by The Toronto Star and other news agencies and a statement by Stellantis reveal that the position of the automaker.
“As of today, the Canadian government has not delivered on what was agreed to, therefore Stellantis and LG Energy Solution will immediately begin implementing their contingency plans,” said LouAnn Gosselin, the company’s head of communications for Canada, in a statement on Friday evening.
Gosselin wouldn’t elaborate on what those contingency plans entail.
For its part, Unifor is calling on the federal government and Stellantis to deliver on commitments to a new Windsor EV battery plant to safeguard Canadian auto manufacturing jobs.
“Government and Stellantis are playing a high-stakes game that is betting the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Canadian autoworkers. Commitments were made and Unifor and our members fully expect that all parties live up to them. Any brinkmanship must end, and a deal must be reached because come hell or high water no promised manufacturing jobs are leaving this country,” warned Unifor National President Lana Payne.
“The shift to electric vehicles has created a fiercely competitive environment, as evidenced by the IRA incentives in the U.S., with jurisdictions around the world vying for these highly sought after jobs. These plants will anchor the communities that they are built in for generations to come,” said Payne.