Government of Canada promotes innovation in Canada's automotive sector

News Release

Minister Bains meets with key automotive leaders at 2017 North American International Auto Show

January 12, 2017 – Detroit, Michigan – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canada's automotive sector has a skilled workforce as well as strengths in advanced technology that position it to design, develop and produce the cars of the future. In the process, the sector is securing and creating well-paying jobs for the middle class—and for those working hard to join it.

The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation—one that drives economic growth and leads to better skills, jobs and opportunities for all Canadians. Key programs that support research and development activities in the sector include the Automotive Innovation Fund and the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program.

This was the message from the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, during his trip to Detroit, Michigan, for the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), the continent's largest automotive trade show. Minister Bains attended the event to highlight Canada as a world-leading destination for automotive investment and a strategic player in global supply chains.

Over the course of his visit, Minister Bains and the Honourable Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth, participated in meetings with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada, Ford Canada, General Motors Canada, Honda Canada and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada. They also met with Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, to discuss future auto sector partnership opportunities.

He participated in productive discussions with key leaders at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council, an industry-led group that addresses competitiveness issues facing the sector.

And he toured AutoMobili-D, an exposition at the NAIAS dedicated to the rapidly evolving merger between mobile technology and cars. The Canadian companies that exhibited at AutoMobili-D demonstrated their strengths in information technology, sensors, network security, lightweight materials and alternative powertrains. Taken together, these enabling technologies are driving the development of the cars of the future.


"I am proud to see Canadian companies showcasing to the world their leadership in the development of advanced technologies that are shaping the future of the auto industry. Canada's strengths in automotive innovation will enable Canadians working in the sector to develop the skills they need for the good-quality jobs of today and tomorrow. Canada is uniquely well-positioned to lead on the design, development and production of the cars of the future."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Canada's automotive industry is a key driver of the economy, representing 10 percent of manufacturing GDP and 13 percent of total merchandise exports.
  • The sector employs 125,000 Canadians directly and another 398,700 indirectly.
  • Canada produces about 14 percent of all vehicles assembled in North America. A vehicle rolls off a Canadian assembly line roughly every 14 seconds.
  • Canada is home to more than 670 suppliers of traditional automotive components and hundreds more suppliers from other industries, such as information and communications technologies.
  • The Automotive Innovation Fund supports strategic and innovative investments by Canada's automakers as they build their research and development capacity and increase their ability to compete internationally.
  • The Automotive Supplier Innovation Program support research and development activities by the small and medium-sized companies that produce new components, parts and production systems for Canada's automotive supply base. The program provides firms with new opportunities to participate in global supply chains.

Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED


Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation,
Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

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