Is all this talk of tariffs making you concerned? You’re not alone.
United States President Donald Trump’s threats to slap a 25 percent tariff on all automotive imports from Canada has a lot of people up in arms and worried about the potential impact on our economy, particularly in Southern Ontario where the bulk of the country’s industry is based.
Cars are Canada’s leading export, responsible for roughly $80 billion in economic activity each year factoring in manufacturers and their suppliers, employing a total of half a million Canadians.
It doesn’t take an expert to see that the results here could be devastating. If this has gotten you to thinking that your next automotive purchase should support your blue-collar workers, we’ve got you covered: here’s a list of every car and truck that’s currently being built north of the border.
You’ll see that the selection is surprisingly diverse and covers almost every market segment, including many models that are already Canadian bestsellers. Note, though, that it doesn’t include low-volume specialty manufacturers such as Campagna’s Quebec-built three-wheelers, Electra Meccanica out of BC, or the Ford GT that’s assembled at Multimatic in Markham, Ontario.
Brampton, ON – Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger
Built and opened by AMC in 1986 and acquired by Chrysler in 1987, today FCA Brampton Assembly builds every Dodge Charger, Challenger, and Chrysler 300 sold around the world. Various factors fuel rumours that the Brampton plant’s future may not be secure despite a recent investment to build a new paint shop – particularly the decline in popularity of passenger cars – but the company has said it intends to build these vehicles here to the anticipated end of their current generations in 2020.
Windsor, ON – Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid, Dodge Grand Caravan
FCA holds claim to the last assembly plant standing in what was once the automotive capital of Canada. The company’s Windsor operations are based out of a facility that was built in 1928 and has been dedicated to minivans since the first Dodge Caravan rolled off the line in 1983. CEO Sergio Marchionne indicated that FCA is committed to Windsor in his annual speech at the Detroit auto show in January, saying that the replacement for the soon-to-be-cancelled Dodge Grand Caravan is expected to be built at the facility on the same architecture as the Pacifica.
Oakville, ON – Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX/Nautilus, Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT
Ford’s decision to kill most of its car line-up in North America won’t impact its Oakville operations, which have been in place since 1953 and are focused entirely on crossovers. Although the Ford Flex is slated to be cancelled in 2020 – little has been said about whether its platform-mate, the Lincoln MKT, will follow suit – the decision to export the redesigned Edge and the new Edge ST to 100 countries in 2019 is expected to make up that volume.
Oshawa (Flex Line), ON – Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac XTS
GM’s Oshawa facilities are the oldest in Canada that are still operational, having been opened by McLaughlin in 1907. Production at this facility was reduced to a single shift earlier this year, and there are rumours that the Impala may be discontinued in the near future. The Cadillac XTS, on the other hand, received a refresh for 2018. The Flex line is capable of producing cars of varying body styles covering most of GM’s product lineup.
Oshawa (Truck line), ON – Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra
After spending seven years building Equinoxes, the facility that formerly housed the Consolidate line now houses the new Truck line with the first models rolling off in February of this year. The plant is currently assembling 2018 Silverados and Sierras to make up for production shortfalls as GM prepares to launch the next generation of these trucks in 2019. Operations here are a cross-border affair with stamped body panels being shipped from Fort Wayne to Oshawa where the parts are painted and trucks are assembled.
Ingersoll, ON – Chevrolet Equinox
CAMI Automotive was founded in 1986 as a joint venture in 1986 between General Motors and Suzuki. The latter party left in 2009, relinquishing full control of the facility to GM. The plant now builds the Chevrolet Equinox exclusively after production of its platform-mate, the GMC Terrain, was moved to Mexico with the start of the new generation in 2017. Workers who were concerned that the Equinox would follow went on strike last fall to demand job security, pushing the automaker to within days of closing the plant for good before an agreement was reached. GM did not declare CAMI the lead plant for Equinox in those negotiations, leaving the door open for changes in the future.
Alliston, ON – Honda Civic, Honda CR-V
Many of the buyers of Canada’s frequent bestsellers probably don’t even realize that their Japanese nameplated cars were built in Alliston, Ontario. Honda of Canada Manufacturing opened its doors in 1986 and started out producing Accords until production shifted to Civics in 1988. Today, Plant 1 builds the Honda Civic Sedan, Si, and Coupe; and Plant 2 is responsible for the Honda Civic Sedan and CR-V – all for both domestic and international sale. The company recently spent more than $400 million on upgrades.
Cambridge, ON – Toyota RAV4, Lexus RX350 and RX450h
With Corolla production moving to Alabama in 2019 – it was originally to move to Mexico, but threats of US border taxes nixed that plan – Toyota has said it plans to assemble even more RAV4s in Ontario. Production has been added at the Cambridge facility, making Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada a North American hub for the company’s SUVs. Given the direction of consumer tastes, this is good news for Canadian employees. Operational since 1988, the Cambridge plant is the first outside of Japan to produce any Lexus vehicle. In combination with its Woodstock facility, Toyota recently announced plans to spend $1.4 billion in its Ontario plants to introduce Toyota’s New Global Architecture platform and assembly technologies.