October 11, 2017 11:06 am
Updated: October 11, 2017 2:17 pm

New report indicates post-recession investments in Canada’s auto sector far below crash

Production of the General Motors' CAMI Automotive facility in Ingersoll, Ontario, is hown in this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2006 file photo.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley
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TORONTO – Capital investment in the Canadian auto assembly sector since the financial crisis has been nearly cut in half compared with the period before the downturn, a new report says.

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants said Wednesday that capital spending for Canada’s motor vehicle assembly industry has averaged $1.2 billion a year for 2010-17.

That’s down from $2.3 billion annually on average from 2000 through 2009.

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Meanwhile, the average new capital expenditures for the parts and accessories industry dropped to $565.9 million from $887.7 million for the same time periods.

“Despite small occasional increases in the period between 2008 and 2017 there has been no sustained indication of a return to the heights recorded in the mid to late 90s and late 2000’s,” DesRosiers said.

“Canada’s loss of investment market share to Mexico and the southern U.S. over this period has been well documented.”

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However, DesRosiers noted that investments by truck body and trailer manufacturers have increased on average from $52.7 million for 2000 to 2009 to $82.7 million since 2010.

Securing new investments in Canada was a key goal for Unifor during its negotiations with the big U.S. automakers last year.

Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler all pledged to invest hundreds of millions in their Canadian operations as part of their agreements with the union.

Meanwhile, Unifor members remain on strike at GM’s CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., where the union is seeking to have the location designated the lead producer of the Chevrolet Equinox.

Job security at the plant is a key issue, with Unifor seeking to prevent work from being moved to Mexico, where GM also produces the popular sport utility vehicle.

The plant saw the loss of hundreds of jobs when GM shifted production of its GMC Terrain from Ingersoll to Mexico earlier this year.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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