Ontario’s debt is swelling and as home to eight manufacturing plants — the largest complex in North America — automakers may have a tough time keeping plants open in Canada’s most-populous province.
According to a story by the Financial Post, Ontario is moving forward with an ambitious plan to revamp roads and mass transit systems despite its debt being downgraded by Standard & Poor’s bond index. The broad public spending plan also extends to other sectors, despite high unemployment numbers and slumping manufacturing jobs.
Automakers such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have called on the provincial government to cut back on public programs and reduce costs on utilities in an effort to keep car building in the province profitable. This year, Chevrolet will shift production of its Camaro to Michigan. On the whole, Oshawa GM production has a dark cloud lingering overhead until the company decides what to do with the facility in 2016.
The fate of Canada’s auto industry is linked to whether or not the nation’s leaders can convince FCA to reinvest into its Brampton, Ontario facility.
On the heels of reports that put a $3.6 billion pricetag on Chrysler’s investment at two Canadian plants, another Canadian outlet is reporting that the money would ensure the future of the two plants for decades to come.
Having planned to idle production plants for a mere ten days over the winter break, Chrysler is responding to weak sales by extending the holiday shutdown of several plants to three weeks or more. The WSJ reports that Chrysler’s Windsor and Brampton plants (minivans, 300/Charger/Challenger) will shut down starting December 21 and will idle through January 18. The Toledo plant (Jeep Wrangler) will also idle beginning on December 21, and will resume production on January 11. Chrysler is also said to be considering extended production shutdowns at its Detroit Viper factory (which is entering final production anyway) and an unspecified Ram plant. Unless December sales numbers turn out to be humdingers, this winter vacation could possibly go on even longer, as Chrysler struggles under falling sales and a 64-day supply inventory.