Ontario gives $85.M to FCA for research



WINDSOR, Ont. – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced June 15 that the Ontario government would give $85.8 million to FCA Canada.

The money will support research at the automaker’s Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC) plus advanced training for the workforce at the Windsor Assembly Plant (WAP) and technology upgrades related to the production of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

“It’s no surprise that Fiat Chrysler chose Ontario for the production of its first-ever minivans using plug-in hybrid technology,” Wynne said.

“Ontario is a global leader in the auto sector, with competitive business costs, a highly skilled workforce and a commitment to sustainable innovation. 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.”

For the ARDC, the money is a 20th anniversary gift. What started as a $30 million investment in 1995 has grown to a $1 billion spend on vehicle research and development. The money will give a boost to the ARDC’s research efforts.

The ARDC is a first-of-its-kind Canadian partnership between industry and academia. It plays an important role in the product development of nearly every vehicle produced by FCA.

“In the last 18 months, FCA has invested in excess of $2 billion and added over 1,200 new jobs for the benefit of our Canadian operations,” said Reid Bigland, president and CEO, FCA Canada.

“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.”

As the industry’s first electrified minivan, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid will deliver an estimated range of 48 km on zero-emissions electric power and be built for the world exclusively at WAP.

The ARDC employs 180 people and covers 93,000 square metres in its Windsor facility near the WAP.

The facility performs tests that include millions of kilometres of road test simulation, extreme weather testing, corrosion control and precision night- time headlight testing.

In addition to design and engineering, the ARDC works with leading universities in Ontario including McMaster, Waterloo and Windsor conducting research on critical challenges for the industry including advance powertrains and light-weighting.

Results from these efforts can be found in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.