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Ford to invest $1.2B in Canadian operations

Ottawa to open new R&D centre; Windsor plant gets funds for new engine

Published: March 31, 2017, 10:10 AM
Updated: April 4, 2017, 4:42 AM

Ford SYNC 3 - Ford SYNC 3 Photo by Kanishka Sonnadara for Autofile

Ford is investing in Canada to the tune of $1.2 Billion, with contributions coming from the Canadian and Ontario governments.

The company has announced the creation of a research and engineering centre in Ottawa, which will mostly be staffed by former Blackberry employees (Ford’s new Sync infotainment system uses the QNX operating system that’s been under the Blackberry umbrella since 2010), though the Globe and Mail is reporting the 295 new hires will come from Blackberry’s mobile phone division, not from the QNX side. Although, the Blackberry 10 also used QNX, so the new employees do have QNX experience.

“Connectivity is the critical component to the future of mobility,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s head of global product development and chief technical officer. “By more than doubling our connectivity talent and establishing a research centre, we can innovate faster and deliver more software and services to exceed our customer’s expectations.”

Ford Fiesta production - Ford Fiesta production line

Ford will be investing $500 Canadian in the venture, and will reportedly add satellite locations at its headquarters in Oakville, and in Windsor, where the company will also spend the rest of the announced investment to build a new V-8 at its Essex engine plant (preserving 500 jobs). That’s where the announcements were made, which included speeches by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, among other politicians and industry leaders.

The Canadian federal government and Ontario provincial government are both kicking in $102.4 million.