Ford's engine plant in Windsor gets big cash injection


By Liam Orlita

The government of Ontario announced plans late last week to invest $81.2 million into Ford’s Windsor engine plant.

The influx of cash is expected to create over 750 jobs over the next five years.

Production stalled at the Essex plant in 2007. After a round of layoffs, the provincial government said it would give $17 million to keep the plant producing. Later in 2008, Ottawa invested $80 million.

The government assistance, coupled with Ford Canada’s investments convinced the Detroit-based company to choose the Windsor plant to make its V8 engines for 2011’s Mustang.

Analysts say if the automaker can attract enough new business to its Essex factory, it could help lessen the impact of the 1,500 layoffs at its St. Thomas, Ont. assembly plant, which is to close next year.

The total of Ford’s and the government’s contributions is $736.4 million. This allowed the Essex plant to install a system for flexible manufacturing allowing the facility to produce different engines, the company says.

Ford also said the new Mustang engine will have several parts from Canadian parts manufacturers.

- With files from The Canadian Press