General Motors of Canada emphasized its commitment to significantly invest in research and development activities, with plans that total $850 million and extend to 2016.
GM reported it increased investments in research, development and engineering in Canada, including growing its activities at its Canadian Engineering Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. The automaker said it is "committed to further leveraging Canada's expertise in strategic and important technologies by expanding activities in light weigh materials, mechatronics, software and communications. Cutting-edge technologies like these are critical to the development of tomorrow's vehicles and the sustainability of Canada's automotive sector."
"GM has long been a Canadian technology and innovation leader and these additional investments will build our expertise in strategic and important technologies even further," said Kevin W. Williams, president and managing director, GM Canada. "Since 2009 alone, employees at our Canadian Engineering Centre have generated nearly 100 records of invention which allow us to offer better solutions for our customers, helping GM to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles."
"General Motors of Canada has made great strides since 2009 when our Government pledged its support to help it restructure," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, in noting Canadian government incentives totalling an estimated $9.5 billion provided the firm in recent years. "We are encouraged that, thanks in part to that support, GM is now making important investments in the future of the auto sector and manufacturing in Canada. Such investments in R&D bring long-term benefits to Canada, driving made-in-Canada innovation, increasing our ability to compete internationally and creating high-paying, stable jobs."
"The commitment, perseverance and skills of our auto workers have helped companies like GM fuel the continued recovery of our auto sector, an industry we've been proud to partner with because it supports 485,000 good jobs for Ontario families. GM's continued investments in research and development will no doubt create even more good jobs down the road," said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
In order to continue its cooperation in the area of research and development GM said it enhanced supplier partnerships to drive innovation through the supply chain and increase automotive R&D capacity in Canada. For example, GM partnered with multiple suppliers to develop light-weighting initiatives for the next generation of vehicles. These suppliers will then be able to leverage their global footprints to supply Canadian technology to operations around the world.
The firm also plans to enhancing partnerships with automotive suppliers that strengthen innovation and competitiveness in the Canadian supplier base, including new co-development projects that provide greater opportunities for start-ups to access funding through GM Ventures.