Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada (FCA Canada) is partnering with the government of Ontario, Canada, to support the production of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the world’s first plug-in hybrid electric minivan and the first to be built in North America. The partnership was announced on June 15, at a special 20th anniversary event at the University of Windsor/FCA Research and Development Center by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Wynne said, “It’s no surprise that Fiat Chrysler chose Ontario for the production of its first-ever minivan using plug-in hybrid technology. Ontario is a global leader in the auto sector, with competitive business costs, a highly skilled workforce and a commitment to sustainable innovation. Through our Climate Change Action Plan, we are supporting the transition to electric and hybrid vehicles. We will continue to work with the auto industry, including our partners in Detroit, to support and encourage investment, employment and innovation in the industry.”
Ontario will provide up to $85.8 million in funding to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada in order to enhance research at FCA’s R&D centre in Windsor, called the Automotive Research and Development Centre, and to support the world-class workforce at the Windsor Assembly Plant through advanced training and plant upgrades for the production of the Chrysler Pacifica. The project will also safeguard the Windsor Assembly Plant by creating 1,200 new jobs and securing 4,000 existing positions. It will support thousands of direct and indirect jobs across Ontario’s automotive supply chain.
“Fiat Chrysler is a significant employer in Ontario, and important contributor to our overall economic growth. We are pleased to work closely with them through this substantial investment, which has secured thousands of jobs and $1 billion in private sector investment. Working with Ontario’s auto industry to lead the next wave of vehicle technologies, including alternative fuels and connected and autonomous cars, is absolutely essential for the sector’s long-term future. In this fiercely competitive global economy, investments like these send a message that Ontario is a great place to build the vehicles of tomorrow,” says Brad Duguid, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.
This investment builds on Ontario’s competitive advantages by supporting a highly skilled workforce and a business climate that enables innovative research. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid will also contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy.
According to Reid Bigland, President and CEO, FCA Canada, “In the last 18 months, FCA has invested in excess of $2 billion for the benefit of our Canadian operations and added over 1,200 new jobs. We are grateful for the support of the Ontario government and appreciate our strong working relationship. We are proud of our world-class workforce, the new research capabilities of the ARDC and the exciting new Chrysler Pacifica.”