(Kazi Stastna – CBC News)
The news that Toyota is moving production of its popular Corolla vehicle from Cambridge, Ont., to Mexico is further confirmation that Canada has slipped to third place in North America’s auto sector, but don’t go writing the obituary of Canadian car manufacturing just yet.
Canada still makes about 2.4 million vehicles a year, about 80 per cent of which are exported, mainly to the U.S. While that’s down from a peak of three million in 1999, auto manufacturing still contributes about $16 billion annually to the country’s GDP and employs 120,000 people directly (plus an additional 280,000 in related industries) — compared with more than $21 billion and 175,000 workers at its height.
Two record years for auto sales — and a third one on the way — fuelled by the U.S. economic recovery, have boosted production, but there’s been bad news, too, even before Wednesday’s Corolla announcement. GM is moving production of the Camaro to Lansing, Mich., from Oshawa, Ont., this year and in 2016 will shut down one of two production lines at its Oshawa facility. Click here to read more.